Schools across Ontario get their report cards today — standardized tests that show how students are performing. They are called the EQAO results, and feature school-by-school, board-by-board results in reading, writing and arithmetic.
The Toronto District School Board continues to improve in reading and writing, while math results are steady, according to the 2013 report. The full report can be read here.
Here is a graph showing Toronto schools, and percentages of the city's students who are at or above the provincial average in these subjects.
One Scarborough school stands out in the report. Hunter's Glen Junior Public School has posted overall the test results 30 per cent better than the year before.
The impressive results are about teaching students, not subjects, according to Mary Kennedy, a teacher at the school.
"If we can address the whole child, I feel that EQAO results come up on their own. A really big part of it is just letting that child know we care — it's important they matter more than their marks do," says Kennedy.
She also credits an integrated approach where subjects transition into one another.
John Chasty, a superintendent of the Toronto District School Board, says he uses the EQAO results as a benchmark to monitor students.
"If students are below the provincial standard, we know we have work to do with those students in non-EQAO years in order to get them to that provincial standard," he says.
"It's about having a real good source of information so that we can understand what student needs are, the learning gaps between the different groups of students and then address those gaps so we can improve student achievement."
Jessica Litowski, a Grade 7 student at the school, says Kennedy's approach to teaching not only prepares her for the EQAO, but for life.
"She taught us not just about what to remember to write the test, she taught us for a lifetime," she says. "There's that expression catch a fish feed a man for one day, teach a man to fish feed him for a lifetime."