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Key Highlights of TDSB EQAO Assessment Performance

TDSB Results Compared to the Province

  • Overall, in 2021-22 the percentage of fully participating TDSB students achieving at or above the provincial standard in the Primary Division (Grade 3) is higher (between 1 and 3 percentage points) than the provincial results across all the assessments.
  • Overall, in 2021-22 the percentage of fully participating TDSB students achieving at or above the provincial standard in the Junior Division (Grade 6) is higher than the provincial results in Writing and Mathematics (between 1 and 5 percentage points) and the same in Reading.
  • Compared to the province, the percentage of fully participating Grade 9 TDSB students achieving at or above the provincial standard (Levels 3 and 4) in the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics in 2021-22 is 1 percentage point higher than the province (53% compared to 52%).
  • Compared to the province, the percentage of fully participating TDSB students who were successful on the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) in 2021-22 is 2 percentage points higher for first-time eligible students than the province (84% compared to 82%); and the same as the province for previously eligible students (85%).

Context and Considerations

2021-22 marked the return to EQAO’s provincial assessment administration, which had been paused for the two years prior, due to the pandemic. The assessments were administered to students learning in person and students learning remotely who wrote the assessments in person.

While EQAO has included 2018-19 results in their 2021-22 highlights of the provincial results, it is difficult to make any inferences about differences in learning between 2018-19 and 2021-22 for the following reasons:

  • All assessments were administered digitally in 2021-22. These e-assessments were also adaptive assessments, which means the next question changed based on a student’s response to the previous question. While an exciting development for large-scale assessment, the significant differences from a paper and pencil assessment format renders comparability between the two periods of time difficult. We do not know whether to attribute any percentage point variance to a difference in demonstration of learning or a difference in the administration of the assessments.
  • The new online mode of delivery in the Primary and Junior Divisions allowed for a longer administration period in 2021-22 (i.e., throughout May and June 2022) and for the OSSLT, which was administered over a period of approximately six weeks in both the fall and spring; this substantially changed the standardization of the administration of the assessments in that there was a wider range of time in which students took the assessment. Students were at different points in their year in relation to what they could demonstrate that they knew.
  • A new, universal elementary Mathematics curriculum was introduced in 2020-21, against which the assessments were anchored.
  • The implementation of a new de-streamed, universal Mathematics curriculum in 2021-22, in which all Grade 9 students wrote the same EQAO assessment. Together, the Grade 9 Mathematics changes in curriculum, program participation (i.e., the number of students participating in 2021-22 is lower than in previous years due to circumstances related to the pandemic), and form of assessment makes any comparability from 2018-19 to 2021-22 difficult.

EQAO’s highlights of the provincial results indicate the different EQAO assessment models necessitate that new baselines be established for assessment results, meaning new trendlines were set in 2021-22. Additionally, EQAO is in the process of standard setting in Mathematics to define levels of achievement.

EQAO has also changed their reporting method from “All Students” to “Fully Participating Students” for the 2021-22 results. For comparison purposes, the 2018-19 results were recalculated using the “Fully Participating Students” method. For the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics, the 2018-19 results by Applied and Academic courses are included separately as well as recalculated into a combined result, in order to see student achievement in 2018-19 for all fully participating Grade 9 students.