Policies to blame for drop in Ontario math scores

ANNA STOKKE

Ontario’s math system is broken. So why isn’t the government fixing it?

Anna Stokke is a professor of mathematics at the University of Winnipeg, co-founder and president of the non-profit organization Archimedes Math Schools and author of the C.D. Howe report, What to Do About Canada’s Declining Math Scores.

Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office’s (EQAO) 2015/2016 results from mathematics assessments should give parents in the province reason to worry. There was some positive news in that reading and writing scores increased over five years, but mathematics scores plummeted. The percentage of Grade 3 students who met the provincial math standard fell to 63 per cent from 68 per cent over five years. The results were worse for Grade 6 students. Only 50 per cent met the provincial math standard, down from 58 per cent five years ago.

Early achievement in math has been shown to predict later academic achievement, financial success and future career options. The recent EQAO results should further increase government efforts to examine credible causes and take meaningful steps to reverse the slide.

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