For Immediate Release
September 24, 2014
2014 Literacy Test results released
GUELPH, Ontario – Secondary students in Upper Grand high schools who were eligible to write the EQAO Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) this year have achieved an 82% success rate.
The result is the same as it was last year, but is now a percentage point below the provincial average of 83%. For the past five years Upper Grand has been either the same as, or within one or two percentage points of the provincial average.
“I’m pleased with the overall results,” said Mark Bailey, Chair of the Board. “Upper Grand students are consistently on par with their peers across the province.”
The OSSLT assesses the reading and writing skills students are expected to learn across all subjects by the end of grade 9. All students, whether in Academic or Applied programs, take the same test. Successful completion of the OSSLT, and/or the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course (OSSLC), is one of the 32 requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
“A great many of our students excel at the OSSLT,” Bailey said, noting that 96% of Academic students passed, higher than the provincial average. “However, an area of concern is the lower success rate for students in Applied courses.”
The success rate for students in the Applied program has been trending downward for the last five years. In 2014 it was at 53%, approaching the provincial average of 50%.
“Literacy is no less important to students who may be on a pathway to a career in a trade or industry. We owe it to the students, and they owe to themselves, to see that they acquire the fundamental skills that are needed to fully participate in society.”
The Board is working on strategies to help students in Applied programs improve their literacy levels. College Heights SS, Orangeville DSS, Centre Dufferin DHS and Wellington Heights SS are participating in a special project this year with a focus on closing the achievement gap.
Norwell DSS, Erin DHS and Guelph CVI staff are also participating in literacy-based collaborative inquiries, some of which will explore the use of technology to support student success in literacy, particularly in Applied classrooms.
Of the 2,519 students eligible to write the test for the first time (FTE), 48% were female and 52% were male. Girls outperformed boys with an 88% success rate, compared to 76% for the boys. The discrepancy between the sexes is slightly more pronounced in Upper Grand as compared to the province, where 87% of female students were successful versus 78% for males.
Students with special needs (FTE, excluding the gifted) achieved a 47% rate of success, and 74% of English Language Learners were successful.
Schools will use their Literacy Teams, develop school improvement plans with the goal of higher achievement, and will discuss strategies to help students who struggle to learn. Ongoing support for students includes mentor training for target groups, and the after-school “Pass the Test” initiative.
Results for individual schools are shown below and are based on all students who wrote the OSSLT.
Additional information is available at www.ugdsb.on.ca/eqao, and on EQAO’s website at www.eqao.com.
For more information:
Maggie McFadzen, Communications Officer
Mark Weidmark, Administrative Officer - Communications