The PC government is considering implementing a mandatory annual math test that all Ontario teachers must pass if they want to continue to teach. The test would be enforced by the provincial government for all Ontario primary and secondary school teachers. Senior government sources have confirmed to The Canadian Press that teachers will not be permitted to continue to teach if they do not pass the test. The test would be mandatory for teachers of all school subjects, even if the educator did not specialize in teaching math.
The provincial government continues to promise improvements in students' math scores - which according to CP24, have been on the decline for several years throughout Ontario. As confirmed by the Education Quality and Accountability Office, math test scores of Ontario public elementary students have been steadily decreasing over the last five years.
Yesterday, the Ontario government passed legislation that requires all soon-to-be teachers across the province to successfully pass a math assessment prior to receiving their teaching license - and not everyone's on board. Take a look at what some Ontarians have to say on the matter:
Math teacher gain qualifications to teach by being tested at teachers college, why then mandatory annual math testing for all teachers?— Michael Coteau (@coteau) April 4, 2019
Perhaps we should start testing politicians to prevent bad policy like this?#onpoli #oned https://t.co/BFcVyHfA5H
Good. I'm glad to hear that.— Loves Me My Glutens (@mynamesnotgordy) April 4, 2019
Because I'm tired of my kids' English, History and Art teachers not knowing the square root 81.
Also, Ontario kids need good math skills.
So they're able to calculate exactly how much taxpayer money Doug and his Folks are wasting. #onpoli
What fresh hell is this? I don't even teach math. Are they going to test my ability to calculate a simple %? What a waste of money. Ontario considering mandatory annual math testing for all teachershttps://t.co/4OQ3Ub1s6I pic.twitter.com/ih4PNFqJ0B— Sandra 🏳️🌈 (@eurosandee) April 4, 2019
Let me get this straight: there’s money to make an art/social science teacher like me take a math test every year, but there’s none for smaller class sizes, fixing schools, or kids with autism, @LisaThompsonMPP? #OntEd #NoCutstoEducation https://t.co/LKMrsVeQDl— Chantal Mancini (@uniongrrl) April 4, 2019
Making all teachers be tested on math is like demanding a plumber is also able to be an electrician because they are working on the same construction site. This provincial government is uneducated and dangerous to the province. #Ontario #onpoli— OfKris (@sidekickgirl) April 4, 2019
Can someone please tell me how this will do anything other than add more administrative burden onto our teachers? Talk about arranging the deck chairs while the titanic sinks.... Ontario considering mandatory annual math testing for all teachers https://t.co/q0LLuaodsh— Jenn Casey (@_jenncasey) April 4, 2019
@ColinDMello why are they making all teachers complete a math test regardless of their grade or subject? Why is the Ontario government not speaking to teachers in the classrooms about how to fix our education? Why not have zeros apply to students who don’t hand in assignments?— Jenine M (@MJenine) April 4, 2019
According to CP24, the government has still yet to consult with education professionals and parents on the issue of enforcing a mandatory test for teachers. It has not yet been revealed what specific content would be on the test or which parties would be responsible for administering it.
They also reported that 49 percent of Grade 6 students met the provincial math standard last school year, a decline of 5 percent from 2013-2014. Only 61 percent of Grade 3 students achieved the provincial standard in 2017-2018, down from 67 percent in 2013-2014.
Statistical data also suggests that only 45 percent of Grade 9 applied math students met the standard requirements.
Ontario Education Minister Lisa Thompson commented that the poor results were "unacceptable." Sources told CP24 that the harrowing EQAO scores and feedback from concerned parents have propelled the government to consider the new test for all teachers.
"How can we expect our students to do the math when our teachers can't?" says one government source. We must admit, they do make a good point here.