Former Math Teacher, Psychic Sterling Sinclair, Sees no need for Mandatory EQAO Testing. The Testing is Propaganda Oriented and Misdirected – it Feeds Teacher Hate and Provides No Beneficial Student Math Skill Results. Feb 19, 2020
The province of Ontario continues to assault the reputation of teachers across the province. The denouncing of teaching abilities and effectiveness through the use of EQAO testing has not improved learning in the classroom.
Teacher contract after teacher contract, the Governments of Ontario throw the test scores out into the public and the main stream media eats it up. Examples of the types of headline possibilities:
“Useless teachers fail our students again!”
“Teachers make too much money – all they do is hurt students.”
“Teachers use students as pawns to support their slacker agenda.”
The people of Ontario, especially Ford supporters, sniff out and hold true to these sorts of headlines, whether there is any truth in them or not.
“Teachers force Parents to teach their own kids how to read and do arithmetic. Teachers need to do their jobs NOT parents.”
The type of Teacher-Hate flourishes every time their new collective agreements are negotiated.
So what is different this time and why bring up EQAO testing?
Not since Bill 160, has Ontario faced a situation even remotely similar to this one. The Ford Government, just like the Harris Government, is attempting to restructure Ontario’s Public Education system. They are trying assure that changes happen while diverting the public by feeding the Ontario people nuggets that feed teacher hate. Have you noticed that we allegedly live in an anti-hate-zero-tolerance society but it is open season to hate School Teachers?
A 2017 HuffPost article gives us some hints.
In this article, 2013/16 EQAO math test scores are revealed. Also, there is mention of a 3 year project costing $60 mil to improve math test scores and math abilities from G1-G8.
What the article did not mention was that ALL students write the Grade 3 and 6 math tests.
Even if a grade 3 student, due to disability or whatever, cannot even count, that student must write the math test. The test is not testing only students who can read and recognize numbers. The test is not only testing students who speak the language fluently. The test is not testing only students who can control their behaviours or sit in a room long enough to write the tests. The students facing these issues struggle to write the test, not only complete it. It is impossible to imagine a student who is barely functioning at a SK level to meet the provincial standard on a G3 or G6 EQAO test. They also failed to mention how the EQAO test scores differ depending on the school area demographics.
But then the statistics of the grade 9 tests are revealed. Academic test writers achieved over 80% math proficiency compared to under 50% math proficiency achieved by writers of the relatively easier applied math test. Their slant was that the 80% was achieved because they represent the “haves” of our society.
But what it really shows is two things:
1/ my making all students write the grade 3 and 6 math tests, skews the accuracy of math skill rating in Ontario Elementary Schools. There are many students learning math and doing well. There are other students struggling and may never achieve grade 9 math proficiency of any level.
2/ when the incapable students no longer write the math test, the score goes up.
Another thing the people of Ontario are being diverted from understanding is that the Ontario Curriculum itself is setting up many students to fail at achieving mathematics proficiency.
The Ontario Math Curriculum is based on incremental learning. Learning is to be built upon previous learning. Makes sense? Right?
But, the curriculum has to be covered each year/semester. A teacher cannot remain teaching multiplication if students are struggling. The teacher must move on to another component of the Government mandated curriculum. Not every student can learn a math skill in 2-5 days. The curriculum, however is so diverse that learning is not necessarily built upon last week’s learning, it is most often built upon last year’s learning. Now, try to recall your school days. It wasn’t that easy recalling last year’s math rules and equations, was it. Well, now, the government of Ontario pushes the math forward even if the student has insufficient knowledge and skills.
This is where the greatest learning gap is revealed and where students fall further and further behind.
The Ontario Government made it nearly impossible to fail or hold back a student. The new assessment recording strategy of using rubrics has no failing grade. Nearly every student is pushed forward. According to our Ontario Governments, this was to combat student self-esteem issues because of failing. But now we have a situation whereby less than 50% of students taking applied Math in high school meet the provincial standard. The usual end result for students taking applied mathematics or lower is blue collar employment. With a skilled trades crisis approaching, this method of teaching math and pushing students toward graduation, regardless of the amount learned, is about to injure our workforce. Many employers believe that a grade 12 graduation diploma means that you know your math and can read/write. Sadly that is no longer the case. When workers are not being hired or being fired because of their lack of skills and knowledge, I would have to assume that their self-esteems get pretty low.
This is not a teacher problem BUT it is marketed as a teacher problem. The province forces teachers to follow the provincial curriculum this way. As the HuffPost revealed, this strategy works with well abled students. If it didn’t, over 80% of students taking the advanced EQAO test would not be meeting provincial standards.
The fact is, even through elementary school, there are various groups of students with similar learning abilities. Creating a homogenized cookie cutter test is not helpful. What it does is misdirect the truth.
But instead of facing the above reality, Ontario’s Ford Government mandates that all new Teacher Candidates write a mathematics proficiency test. The HuffPost mentions that in 2017, the proficiency test would be for Elementary School Teachers. However, in 2020, all teachers, no matter the grades they are being certified to teach must meet the province’s Math Proficiency standard.
In an August Article, the following was quoted:
“The new math proficiency test will enhance teacher confidence and sense of efficacy in teaching mathematics, which will help ensure that students are better prepared for success in all aspects of their lives,” Ms. Naylor wrote in the memo.
But what Ms. Naylor neglected to inform the people of Ontario was that only Math/Science teachers teach math in High Schools and they already have math or math-related degrees. Their degrees prove their proficiency.
But further more, all other high school teachers need not become more confident in their math teaching efficacy.
There is no need for all TCs to write the math proficiency test. It is another governmental waist of money. It is a propaganda test directed at feeding teacher hate. The people of Ontario need to wake up and stop these misleading actions by the Ontario Government.
Another really bizarre thing about the above quote is that taking a test does not teach someone math. The notion is totally ridiculous.
I would assume that the people of Ontario would think that if there is a math test for all 6 year degree holding teacher candidates, who may never in their future teach math, would be offered mathematics teaching courses throughout their 2 year Bachelor of Education – but high school teachers are not taught anything to do with math unless they are teaching math. Primary teachers are not taught how to teach math to grades 7 and 8. It is entirely mad. New Teacher Candidates had no requirement to study math beyond grade 10 or 11 in order to be accepted into B.Ed. teacher training degrees. But as I type this post, TCs are writing the field test today. They received no further math education training and have been required by the province to take a test on it, even in the cases whereby they will never teach math in their careers.
EQAO is not helping our education system. Year after year it is proven to be more of a hindrance than anything.
If anything is placing undue stress upon students and now new teachers, it is the EQAO math testing system. Save money! Cancel the testing!
I wish that the people of Ontario would look at these real problems and turn from the Ford Government Deception and cuts that will surely make these test scores go down.
Is it Child Abuse if a Parent wants Bigger Unsafe Classrooms with Fewer Supports for Success and Less Teacher-Student Interaction?
What is going on in Ontario? Is this mind control? Is the hatred toward teachers blinding parents from the truth that cuts to education will indeed lessen the chances of students’ success in classrooms?
Do parents truly want their children to receive less? Do parents believe that their children do not deserve more and better services and opportunities? Do parents really want their children hurt at class or being taught in a chaotic classroom war zone?
If a child is having difficulty learning in a classroom with the current level of supports and teacher:student ratios, it is nonsensical for parents to think that their children will learn better while receiving less supports in classrooms with higher teacher:student ratios. There is no logic – unless – parents want their children to have greater learning challenges. Has this become the new child abuse? Is this parental movement to correct the years of pampering their children have been receiving in schools for the last 10 or so years?
Where are the parents who have fought for the rights of their violent children to be part of a non-violent classroom?
Where are the parents who have fought long and hard for their children to have IEPs written and implemented?
Where are the parents of children who live within the autistic spectrum who wanted their children to have opportunities to learn in mainstream classrooms?
Where are the parents who demand that the teacher spend more time teaching their children to read?
Where are the parents who insist that their children’s low math test scores are due to a lack of alternative math opportunities and teacher support?
Where are the parents who report time and time again that their children are being hurt, assaulted and bullied in the classroom?
Where are the parents who fear for their children’s safety in the classroom?
Where are the parents who are dealing with their children’s emotional hurt caused by watching teachers get viciously attacked by students?
Where are the parents of children with ADHD who need silence and a controlled, peaceful classroom atmosphere, but can never get that right filled under current situations?
Where are the parents who want their children to succeed in school?
Where are all of the parents and why are they not fighting the Ford Government cuts to public education and the progressive privatization and non-classroom e-learning?
If you are one of these parents but repeatedly say, “We had bigger classroom numbers when we were kids,” you need to stop. There is little to no comparison between 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60+ years ago. The homogenized classroom student body is no more – at least in Ontario classrooms. Students cannot be punished, nor forced to do their school work. Students cannot (except very dire circumstances) be failed or held back a year. The current rubric assessment strategy in Ontario instructs educators to give almost all students 2s and 3s out of 4. 3 is provincial standard. 4 is above provincial standard and 1 is far below provincial standard but is considered a pass. Even if a student chooses not to hand in any assignment or refuses to write a test, the current Ontario mandated protocol is: the classroom teacher must provide alternative assignments and assessments (alternative basically means – something the student is willing and able to do).
Just for a moment consider, better being a teacher having to offer that to every student in the class. With current classroom numbers it is impossible to do much of the time. Larger student numbers will be the straw that broke the back of Ontario’s education system.
By parents supporting the Ford cuts and privatization, parents are supporting the worsening life and learning condition of their children. Purposely inflicting worsening conditions upon one’s child must be a form of child abuse. If not, it is a shameful and hurtful position to take rather than trying to make things better for their children.
These cuts, privatization and mandatory e-learning will certainly harm students for years to come – and this is just this year’s cuts and destructive efforts by the Ford government in Ontario.
I drew my Happy Birthday Auracature a couple hours before I blew out the candles.
To notice a similarity, one needs to imagine seeing me from the piano side of me.
. At the time I drew it, I had no idea that a birthday pie / cake was going to be given to me. I thought that I’d likely have a cake the following day. However, my wife stopped at Deb’s, on the Tyendinaga Indian Reserve outside Belleville Ontario, and bought a coconut cream pie to have on my birthday. This is me blowing out candles on that birthday pie.
The following day, I received this darling Birthday Cake.
It was a nice weekend of revelations and artistic birthday celebrations.
I hope that you had a wonderful Valentine’s weekend too.
Happy Valentine’s Day (Weekend) 2020.
I was born on Valentine’s Day 1967. My essence is as cupid-like as one can get. At least, that is what I am told by others. How cute is that?!
I will try to post a few birthday cake pics in another post.
Every year, at least since 2008, I have drawn my own birthday Auracature. Auracatures and their Personacature cousins make terrific birthday gifts because, after a few years, they can visually record life moving forward in an artistically positive manner. I have drawn them for many clients on their birthdays. But my birthday has been every year drawn on my birthday as close to the time of my birth as the day makes available for me to draw. The above image was this year’s birthday Auracature.
I was a very strange one this year. Since Auracature art is a spontaneous art form, we never know what the image will be until it is done. Well, you wouldn’t believe it…
This is an Auracature representation of a photo I would have taken of me blowing out my candles a few hours later (I will share it in the birthday cake post). You see, I came down with a bad chest cold (horrible time to get one when it mirrors Covid19 or whatever it is called now) and did not want to blow out the candles on the dessert. So I leaned way back into the sofa and tucked in my chin as I attempted to blow out the candles held 2.5 feet (75cm) away. In this Auracature you can see the sofa arm and back and just by big head pressed against the couch. How cool is that?!
I still don’t know exactly how these spontaneous Auracature images tell our stories or capture moments at different times in our lives – even in the future sometimes, but it is totally cooooool seeing the image in real life.
It was so funny because I have drawn thousands of Auracature images and am the creator of the art form and style. I was looking at the photos as we were all laughing about my photos because I don’t have a chin in the pics. I looked up and there before me was my Birthday Auracature.
This is what I drew. I placed it above the tv in a cabinet that I am making. I was sitting on the sofa 10 feet (3m) away looking at these comical photos when I looked up and saw the prediction.
After all these years, Auracatures still amaze me.
I had a great birthday.
I am sorry for setting my blog to private a couple months back. It seemed that a security issue had surfaced from a source identifying from the USA.
Thank you for your patience and sending me requests to view and comment on this blog.
It was my birthday on Valentine’s Day. So I thought that it would be a suitable time to make my site public once again.
Much love and many thanks,
I have never told my story like this. I will fill in the blanks later. But for now, I hope this video shares who I am: a guy trying be a the person I was born to be.
I was born an Empath – cultured and trained to be a performer. For many years I put my artisticly empathic self in the closet. I tried to become normal.
Instead, I found my normal.
We were born beautiful. We deserve to live as created.
I love You,