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Ontario students falling behind in math

Students in Ontario are doing well in literacy tests, but are falling behind in math, according to results released on Wednesday.

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) said more Grade 3 and 6 students were meeting or exceeding the provincial standard compared to five years ago. But there was no improvement in math results for Grade 3 students and the situation got worse for those in Grade 6.

“In this day and age, solid mathematics skills are crucial to success in all facets of life,” said Dr. Brian Desbiens of the EQAO. “The lack of progress in mathematics achievement, particularly at the elementary level, where strong foundations should be established, is concerning.

“On both provincial and international tests, our elementary students are showing average achievement in mathematics. They risk falling behind their international peers if, as a province, we don’t address this issue with a focused sense of urgency.”  

Compared to five years ago, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the provincial standard has:

  • increased from 61 per cent to 66 per cent in Grade 3 reading
  • increased from 66 per cent to 75 per cent in Grade 6 reading
  • increased from 66 per cent to 76 per cent in Grade 3 writing
  • increased from 67 per cent to 74 per cent in Grade 6 writing
  • remained the same at 68 per cent in Grade 3 math
  • decreased from 61 per cent to 58 per cent in Grade 6 math

In Grade 9, students in academic and applied mathematics courses continue to make strides. Compared to five years ago, the percentage of students at or above the provincial standard has increased by nine percentage points — from 75 per cent to 84 per cent — in the academic course, and by 10 percentage points — from 34 per cent to 44 per cent — in the applied course. Still, more than half of Grade 9 students are not meeting the standard. 

Click here to find out how your child’s school fared.