EQAO math tests postponed at schools in Mississauga

 

If you (or your child) were preparing to take the EQAO math assessment in a public school this year, it appears you (or him or her) will have a little more time to study. 

Recently, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, announced that the province will allow school boards to postpone the assessment in the wake of fraught negotiations between teachers' unions and the province. 

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) is currently taking work-to-rule job action, so it has refrained from participating in EQAO-related activities. 

“The EQAO Grade 9 math test provides valuable information to students, families, and the province about how students are performing in critical math skills and concepts. It also supports improved teaching and learning. It should not be in jeopardy for our students," Lecce said in a statement. 

"Regrettably, due to escalation by union leaders and the withdrawal of services by OSSTF, some secondary students will not be prepared for assessment this Monday."

The Peel District School Board, which oversees public schools in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon, confirmed that its schools will be postponing the EQAO grade 9 assessment scheduled for January 2020

"As you may have heard, this morning, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced that school boards will be allowed to make their own decisions about whether the EQAO grade 9 math assessment can go ahead in light of current education worker job action, and that, if not, the assessment should be administered in June 2020," the board wrote in a news release. 

"The Peel District School Board has made the decision to postpone the EQAO grade 9 math assessment currently scheduled for January 2020. Additional information will be shared as it becomes available." 

The province said that the work-to-rule job action taken by several unions is hurting students. 

"The OSSTF said their job action would not impact students, but this is a clear example of union disruption affecting Ontario students," Lecce said in a statement. 

"It is unfair that union actions are undermining student success. They are jeopardizing the learning experience of Ontario’s future leaders. The government believes in setting students up for success and providing students, parents, and the province with data and insights needed to make critical policy decisions."

The postponement announcement came after the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) announced that unless a tentative agreement with the province is reached, members across Ontario will also be taking administrative job action beginning Monday, Jan. 13 

Despite OECTA's announcement, the postponement of the EQAO assessment will only affect public school students at this time.

OECTA will join the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (EFTO) and the OSSTF in taking job action during negotiations.

Teachers’ unions say they’re protesting cuts, increased class sizes, mandatory e-learning and inaction on violence in schools. 

Today (Jan. 8), public secondary school teachers at several boards, including the Peel District School Board, held a walk-out. 

Lecce has argued that job action and one-day strikes are being utilized to obtain unreasonable pay raises. At a December 2019 press conference, Lecce called the OSSTF’s demands “unacceptable” and said the union is asking for a $1.5 billion compensation increase.

The province said that in high schools that not administering the test in January, students will need to take the test during the June 2020 administration period.

"I recognize that this important assessment may not take place in the majority of English-public high schools. We continue to be concerned by the adverse impacts on students due to union escalation," Lecce said. 

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