Students fail to meet provincial standards in math

August 29, 2013

Ontario’s grade 3 and 6 students are struggling with math, reveals new data from the standardized tests issued by Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office. 57% of grade 6 students and 67% of grade 3 students meet the provincial standard in math, down from 63% and 70% in 2008-09, respectively. Education Minister Liz Sandals pointed to the education of the teachers as a possible explanation, suggesting that strengths in arts could be affecting their ability to teach math. Others suggest the Ontario curriculum is to blame, as it focuses more on “real-world concepts” than it does on memorization. New research out of Concordia University supports a mix of real-world examples and abstract numbers; researchers found that when models were presented alongside fractions for the duration of the lesson, students did better than when models were presented quickly, then removed, for the lesson. Globe and Mail | Concordia News