Peel Passages_ Summer 2005

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					                                 VOLUME   7   NUMBER   3   Summer 2005




A ROCKY ROAD
TO SUCCESS
Collective Bargaining in Peel


A LOOK AT
TEACHER
EXCHANGES

WHAT ARE WE
TESTING FOR?
Examining Standardized Testing
CONTRIBUTORS                                                   Peel Elementary Teachers’ Local


                                                              PASSAGES
                                                               VOLUME        7    NUMBER            3

                                                                     Summer 2005


                TIM CUNNINGHAM is Second Vice
                President of the Peel Elementary Teachers’
                Local.

                                                                      ETFO Peel Local
                                                                   6435 Edwards Blvd. #5/6
     DOUG HITCHCOCK is the Peel Elementary
                                                                     Mississauga, Ontario
     Teachers’ Local Occupational Health and                            Canada L5T 2P7
                       Safety teacher advisor.                       Tel: 905 564 7233
                                                                     Fax: 905 564 7236
                                                                   Toll Free: 877 772 3836
                                                                    www.etfopeel.com
                PATRICIA McADIE is a research officer with
                the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of
                Ontario.                                          The opinions expressed in
                                                               Peel Passages do not necessarily
                                                             reflect official policy of ETFO, PETL
                                                                     or the Editorial Board.
          SHARRON RAYMOND is Chair of the
         Collective Bargaining Committee and
         president-elect for the 2005/2006 and                              EDITOR
                       2006/2007 school years.                             Kurt Uriarte

                                                                         EDITING TEAM
                CATHY SMITH is president of the Peel                    Sabina Freemantle
                Elementary Teachers’ Local.                              Matthew Curran
                                                                           Gail Novack

                                                                         PRODUCTION
                                                                       Thistle Printing Ltd.
     MARGARET STEWART is past president of
         the Prince Edward Island Teachers’                            DESIGN & LAYOUT
                                Federation.                             Blind Pig Design

                                                                    CONTRIBUTING ARTIST
                                                                         Rick Taylor
                KURT URIARTE is First Vice President of
                the Peel Elementary Teachers’ Local and
                editor of the award-winning Peel Passages.
                                                                  Advertising Inquiries should be
                                                                    directed to Kurt Uriarte at
                                                                          905 564 7233
    MARINA WILLATS is a Grade Seven teacher                            kurtu@etfopeel.com
           at Fletcher’s Creek Public School.




                                                                       ETFO Provincial
                                                                       Tel:416 962 3836
                                                                     Toll Free: 888 838 3836
                                                                       www.etfo.on.ca
LOCAL EXECUTIVE                       EDUCATIONAL ISSUES
2     From the Editor                 13   The Perils of Testing
      Kurt Uriarte                         Margaret Stewart

3     The Long and Winding Road
      Cathy Smith                     16   What Are We Testing For?
                                           Examining Standardized Testing
7     If You Don’t Take a Stand for
      Your Students, Who Will?        18   Testing the Limits
      Kurt Uriarte
                                           Patricia McAdie
8     The Year in Retrospect
      Tim Cunningham



EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES                  AROUND PEEL
10    Collective Bargaining           22   A Look at Teacher Exchanges

12    Occupational Health & Safety    24   Book Reviews




QUESTIONS? COMMENTS?                  visit us online at www.etfopeel.com
Send to kurtu@etfopeel.com
FROM THE EDITOR



           It has been a very busy year in Peel and around the
           province. We have made some positive gains in planning
           time and working conditions. Now teachers need to
           ensure that this new contractual language is followed.
           In this issue of Peel Passages, Sharron Raymond reviews the bargaining process here in
           Peel and looks at where we are going, while Cathy Smith looks back on her career as she
           prepares to enter the adventure of retirement. Tim Cunningham reflects on his first year as
           a release officer in Peel and Doug Hitchcock reviews ministry procedures for violence in
           schools.

           With the beginning of summer comes the marking of EQAO. Despite the revamping and
           watering down of the testing process this year by the Liberals, EQAO remains a tool of the
           government to demonstrate to the public “improvements in education” come election
           time. However, EQAO continues to be destructive to public education and teachers should
           not assist in marking it! Last year Peel Passages covered the issue of so called
           “standardized testing.” Considering the continued relevance and importance of the issue,
           we have included the article once more.

           I know many of us are looking forward to the summer break in order to get caught up on
           reading we have put off throughout the year. In case you are looking for any suggestions,
           we have included two book reviews – one professional and one leisure – both of which are
           sure to keep you turning pages.

           Have a relaxing and re-energizing summer. You deserve it!

           In Solidarity,




           Kurt Uriarte




2   PEEL PASSAGES
                                                                                  LOCAL EXECUTIVE




The Long and
 Winding Road
          BY   CATHY SMITH
My initial career aspirations did not include being a teacher. My family included a
long line of teachers: my great aunt had been a teacher; my mother and older sister
were teachers; many of my friends went from Grade 13 right into teachers’ college.
In fact my great, great grand-     declining enrollments. I got        1973. This was the beginning of
mother’s teaching certificate      married in June 1972 and            a very tumultuous time for
from the Normal School of          moved to London believing that      education. That fall, teachers in
Upper Canada in 1855/6 was         I would begin my teaching           several school boards submitted
signed by Egerton Ryerson.         career as an occasional teacher.    resignations en masse, effective
     I was going to do something   I was granted an interview late     December 31, when their
different.                         in August for what I thought        bargaining reached an
     In September 1969, I          was a supply teaching position,     impasse. The government
attended the University of         and to my great surprise, at the    responded with Bill 274 that
Western Ontario where I elected    end of the interview I was          changed the effective date of
to take mainly science and math    offered a job to teach Grade 5 at   resignations to August 31. Next
courses. Being a true product of   Clara Brenton Public School.        came Bill 275 that banned the
the “sixties,” I was discounting   My starting salary was $6300        right to strike and mandated
the notion that these courses      and I got a $300 raise at Christ-   compulsory arbitration, intro-
were more suited for males.        mas. That was the beginning of      duced on December 10. On
After first year I went to Bark    many different assignments          December 18, 1973, teachers
Lake Leadership Centre for a       over the next several years. At     across the province walked out
week in June with a group of       that time, there was no provi-      of their classrooms and 30,000
Grade 8 students from my           sion for planning time, with the    gathered in Toronto for a rally at
sister’s school. This experience   exception of the Grade 7 and 8      Maple Leaf Gardens and a
dramatically changed my career     teachers who had planning time      demonstration at Queen’s Park.
plans, as I realized how much I    when their class had French and     The offending bills were
enjoyed working with young         Home Economics or Industrial        withdrawn on December 21,
people.                            Arts. Primary and junior teach-     1973. I attended my first Annual
     In 1971 I attended            ers received no planning time.      Meeting in August 1974.
Lakeshore Teachers’ College             I have always believed in           In 1975 the government
and received my teaching           the importance of being a part      passed teacher bargaining
certificate. I applied for a job   of the professional organization.   legislation: the School Boards
with the London Board of           I began my involvement with         and Teachers Collective Negoti-
Education, but jobs were scarce    the Federation serving as the       ations Act of 1975, commonly
as many Boards were facing         “Key Teacher” for my school in      called Bill 100. That October,


                                                                                                       SUMMER 2005   3
LOCAL EXECUTIVE




              the federal government passed       strike in Peel is the Transfer and   mostly women.
              the Anti-Inflation Act. The         Surplus language that is in               In 1989, thousands of
              legislation covered all public      Peel’s current collective agree-     teachers rallied at Copps
              sector workplaces and private       ment.                                Coliseum in Hamilton, site of
              sector companies with 500 or             During this time I continued    the Liberal convention, to
              more employees. Wage                my involvement in the federa-        protest pension negotiations.
              increases were capped at 10         tion by serving on the Joint         Teachers wanted a partnership;
              percent in the first year, eight    Economic Policy Committee            that partnership was achieved
              percent in the second, and six      now known as the Collective          in the 1990s under the NDP
              percent in the third. However, in   Bargaining Committee. In June        government.
              1978, as declining enrollment       1981, my first daughter was               In 1990, I decided to move
              continued to hit the elementary     born. At that time I qualified for   back to Mississauga and was
              schools of the province, Boards     eight weeks of paid maternity        hired to teach Junior Kindergar-
              responded by laying off teach-      leave. I returned to a full time     ten at Settler’s Green Public
              ers. The federations developed      position in September 1981. By       School. Once in Peel I became
              model language containing           the time my second daughter          involved with PWTA serving as
              objective criteria for measuring    was born in December 1984,           “Key Teacher” and as the “E.A.
              seniority to be used to identify    improvements to maternity            Rep” for my school. When the
              those to be laid off or trans-      leave provisions allowed me to       Government of the day in its
              ferred, a procedure for declaring   stay home with my new baby for       wisdom cancelled all funding
              layoffs and fair recall proce-      12 weeks of paid maternity           for JK and the Peel Board
              dures                               leave.                               decided to cancel the program, I
                   The federations also coun-          Changes to legislation          found myself looking for a new
              tered the move to lay teachers      continued. In 1982, Ontario          position. Over 200 teachers
              off with creative alternatives      passed wage controls with Bill       were laid off from the Board and
              such as deferred salary leave       179, the Inflation Restraint Act.    my seniority number came
              plans, part-time positions with     It curtailed the bargaining          uncomfortably close. I was
              the guarantee of return to full-    rights of public sector workers,     offered a position at Settler’s
              time, early retirement incentive    including teachers, by extend-       Green to teach the Primary
              plans, relaxation of pension        ing their collective agreements,     Interval Program, which I
              requirements for part-year          removing the right to strike for     accepted, and remained in that
              employment, smaller class sizes,    the duration of the controls and     assignment for seven years. The
              job sharing plans, leave oppor-     capping salary increases at five     years at Settler’s Green pro-
              tunities and retraining for other   percent.                             vided me with the opportunity
              positions.                               In 1987, the public elemen-     to work with exceptional and
                   In 1979, the elementary        tary teachers of Metropolitan        supportive colleagues. During
              teachers in Peel Region were        Toronto went on strike for 18        this time I served on the
              the first public elementary         days to get preparation time         executive of both PWTA and the
              educators to exercise their right   provisions in their collective       Educators’ Association.
              to strike with a full withdrawal    agreement. This agreement                 In 1993, the same NDP
              of their services. This included    paved the way for others to          government under Premier Bob
              my mother and sister. My            include guaranteed preparation       Rae imposed the social contract.
              mother had the difficult task of    time in their collective agree-      It limited public sector salary
              being a principal of a school at    ments.                               increases and froze teachers on
              the time and so was required,            In 1988, Ontario passed the     the grid. Included in the social
              because of her role, to cross the   Pay Equity Act. The federations      contract were unpaid days off.
              picket line. She did however        negotiated the collapse of the       Changes to education continued
              support the strike by donating      three pre-degree grid categories     when the Royal Commission
              the wages she earned to the         into one, improving the salaries     Report, For the Love of Learning,
              strike fund. The result of the      of thousands of members,             CONTINUED      ON   PAGE   28



4   PEEL PASSAGES
SUMMER 2005   5
LOCAL EXECUTIVE




6   PEEL PASSAGES
                                                                                                 LOCAL EXECUTIVE




If You Don’t Take a Stand for
Your Students, Who Will?                                                                       BY KURT URIARTE

As a Grade 3 teacher, I know full well the amount of work that goes into EQAO
and it has bothered me more and more each year. What bothers me isn’t just the
two to three weeks wrenched from our schedule during the busiest time of the
year in order to subject our students to stress inducing, timed tests.
Nor is it just the fact that the        the province, and presently        decision every year to mark the
whole Grade 3 team has been             ETFO has an advisory to            test, ensuring that the EQAO
planning the entire year’s              members not to participate in      cycle continues without a glitch.
curriculum with its multitude of        the marking process.               Most markers don’t look at the
expectations, topics and units,              If each teacher in Ontario    larger issues and just see the
to be completed by April, in            followed the advisory and          money at the end of it. But isn’t
order to make room for testing.         refused to mark the tests, then    a strong education system
Nor is it just the fact that even       maybe, just maybe, the govern-     where students aren’t stressed
though the testing costs millions       ment would be forced to listen.    out and ranked by ill-conceived,
a year, it ranks schools and            The Ministry might hear our        timed tests more important than
students like commodities, and          concerns that the tests harm       a few extra bucks in the sum-
goes against the best of current        both the system and students.      mer?
teaching pedagogy.                      We can send this message only           Often, markers feel that they
    No, what really outrages me         with our actions – or in this case are just one person and that if
is how we as teachers allow it to       our inaction. Do not mark the      they don’t mark it this year then
happen! Why do we permit the            test!                              someone else will. But what
government to waste                                                                    would happen if we
precious time and                                                                        and all the other
resources, and
subject our students
                          WHAT YOU CAN DO…                                               people who think,
                                                                                         “someone else
to so much anxiety                If you are already signed up to mark the test,         will,” refused to
over tests that we                it’s simple, just don’t show up.                       mark the test this
know do not paint                 Actively encourage others not to sign up, talk         summer? What if
an accurate picture               to as many colleagues as you can.                      teachers across
of our students’                                                                         Ontario took a
ability? Why do we                                                                       stand on principle
not stop the entire process in its           As a professional I will      and refused to voluntarily
tracks? It’s simple! If we don’t        follow my EQAO and report          participate? We would send a
mark the tests, the cycle is            card paper filing duties as best I strong message!
broken.                                 can even though my energy               The government and public
    In 2002, at our Provincial          would be much better spent         need to know that EQAO is a
AGM, I put forward a resolution         focused on my classroom. I will    harmful, expensive and stress-
that stated “That ETFO encour-          not however, participate in the    ful, waste of time. Teachers need
age members not to participate          parts of the process I’m not       to take a stand on principle this
in any EQAO marking exer-               required to.                       summer and say no to EQAO.
cises.” It was passed unani-                 Many teachers are continu-    Do not mark the test! ÿ
mously by delegates from across         ing to make the conscious

                                                                                                           SUMMER 2005   7
LOCAL EXECUTIVE




The Year in Retrospect
         BY   TIM CUNNINGHAM
              In reflecting on the school year, I realize it has been quite busy. Having come to
              the position of Second Vice President in late September, there was much to learn.
              I also found that the year            questions related to it, can be      are many misconceptions about
              reinforced my old concepts            quite complex and confusing.         Long-Term Disability, which can
              about ETFO, particularly that         Why is it that a leave around        unfortunately result in disap-
              ETFO is about teachers and            such a natural event in one’s life   pointment and frustration for
              public education.                     can be so complex? Different         members. The Local will
                   One of the most important        laws and legislation govern          continue to try to make this
              aspects of the Federation is its      maternity and parental leaves.       process run as smoothly as
              support of teachers and there-        Federal legislation, provincial      possible for members.
              fore letting them concentrate on      legislation and our own collec-          This year we have seen an
              doing the best job possible in        tive agreement, when inter-          unprecedented number of
                                                                                         members interested in being a
 We have seen an unprecedented number of                                                 part of the Peel delegation to the
                                                                                         Provincial Annual Meeting in
   members interested in being a part of the                                             August. This in itself is impor-
                                                                                         tant and exciting. It demon-
delegation to the Provincial Annual Meeting.                                             strates a renewed interest in our
                                                                                         professional organization, both
              the classroom. This support is        twined with individual circum-       at a local level as well as at the
              offered in different ways.            stances of due date, time of year    provincial level.
              Whether it is creating profes-        and when the teacher is going            Communication continues to
              sional development opportuni-         to start their leave, can make for   be an important issue between
              ties, supporting teachers             some challenging questions and       the Local office and the mem-
              through TPA difficulties or           issues, which the Local can help     bership. The office is continually
              assisting teachers with difficul-     you sort out.                        developing more effective
              ties with their principal or fellow        Member support also comes       means of communication
              colleagues, ETFO is there to          in the form of assistance with       between the membership and
              support them.                         the Long-Term Disability (LTD)       the Local office. Vast improve-
                   One of the areas that has        process. Part of my job this year    ments have been made to the
              generated a large influx of calls     was to help educate members          website (www.etfopeel.com)
              over the year is maternity leave.     on what exactly LTD is, and how      resulting in improved communi-
              It became apparent to me that         it worked. As questions came in,     cation between the Local and
              maternity leaves, and the             it became clear to me that there     the membership. Important


8   PEEL PASSAGES
                                     LOCAL EXECUTIVE




documents have been put on-
line, and a secure-site for
stewards was created so that
they could keep members
abreast of breaking news, as
well as updates during negotia-
tions. Communication continues
to come in the form of publica-
tions such as the Local Link,
Steward Bulletin, Health Matters
and Peel Passages. This was the
first year that every school in
Peel was visited by a released
officer. These visits were a great
opportunity for us to meet with
members, hear their concerns
and speak directly to them about
negotiation issues.
     This has been a pivotal year
for negotiations and our Collec-
tive Agreement. Many issues
needed to be addressed and
were. Inroads have finally been
made on issues of maternity
benefits, working conditions
and planning time. All of these
gains could not have been made
without the resolve of the
membership. Without your
support for the bargaining team
and each other, these gains
would not have been possible.
It became quite evident to the
Board that Peel elementary
teachers would not back down
and were demanding respect,
and that these issues needed to
be not only recognized, but also
addressed.
     As we move forward into
next year, it is imperative that
this momentum continues.
ETFO must strive to improve
the support it offers its mem-
bers, and members need to stay
informed and involved. With
this dedication we will build a
professional organization of
which we can be proud. ÿ



                                           SUMMER 2005   9
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING




                    A Rocky Road to

         BY
           Success
              SHARRON RAYMOND
              Every contract negotiations have a flavour all their own. This round can
              only be described as ‘Rocky Road.’ For Peel elementary teachers, negotia-
              tions were marked by a series of unprecedented milestones.
              There was the RESPECT button          unity. Whether in the hallways       majority of local members,
              campaign, job actions, a historic     of schools or the boardrooms of      having to enact strike sanctions
              provincial framework and a 52-        CBO, teachers delivered a loud,      was a new experience. Peel
              hour marathon negotiation             clear message. Even the              elementary teachers had not
              session. Through it all the           Minister of Education, Gerard        exercised their collective resolve
              negotiation team and member-          Kennedy, was presented with a        through the implementation of
              ship remained resolute in their       RESPECT button and reminded          job actions since 1979. But as
              determination to achieve a fair       that teachers required and           one Steward put it so elo-
              collective agreement in order to      deserved additional preparation      quently, “If not now, when?”
              improve the working lives of          time to ensure a quality educa-      The dedication of school
              teachers.                             tion for all Ontario students.       Stewards was remarkable.
                   Ten months ago, the negoti-      Elementary teachers would no         Distributing bulletins, answer-
              ation process was set in motion.      longer wait quietly to be given      ing questions, rallying the
              From the first meeting, it was        respect; they demanded respect       support of their colleagues, as
              evident that achieving a fair         now.                                 well as attending and holding
              settlement would hinge on a                If facts and logic guaranteed   meetings, marked the valuable
              well informed, united member-         success, the Peel elementary         contribution made by a few
              ship. Visits by the released          teachers’ trek would have been       teachers to guarantee improve-
              officers to close to 200 sites took   a direct route to success. But       ments for all teachers.
              information and facts directly to     negotiation isn’t about reason –         Just as hard as it was for
              the membership. The RESPECT           it isn’t about doing what is right   teachers to withdraw their many
              button campaign became the            – it is about withholding, taking    voluntary services, it was
              visual demonstration of our           and sharing power. For the           equally difficult to lift job


10 PEEL PASSAGES
sanctions without having               With the June 1 deadline             Ratification by the Local
achieved a tentative agreement.    looming and the clock ticking,       membership and the Board
As unprecedented as this was,      the Board and the Local met on       marked the beginning of a new
the imposition of a provincial     May 25 to attempt to hammer          era in Peel for elementary
framework added a second           out a fair settlement. As was        teachers. No one would pretend
extraordinary element to           reported to Stewards at the          that all of our issues have been
already complicated negotia-       time, negotiations were pains-       completely resolved, but we are
tions. Many boards of education    takingly slow. Late on Thursday,     clearly heading down the right
took the position that the         May 26, what appeared to be an       road. Successful implementa-
framework was the deal, or
at least the upper limit, of
any settlement. At the
                              Fifty-two hours after negotiations had begun,
same time, teacher locals
saw the framework as a
                              the Local and the Board representatives shook
starting point for discus-    hands and signed a tentative agreement.
sions. Both parties brought
their own interpretations of the   insurmountable obstacle              tion of the new collective
framework to the table. Sud-       blocked the road to agreement.       agreement will require the
denly, negotiations were no        Members were quickly                 united efforts of a vigilant
longer a two-party exercise;       informed that a return to job        membership. As each new
there were now five distinct and   actions was probably unavoid-        clause takes effect, we must
separate agendas operating: the    able. It was at this time that the   ensure that it is done correctly.
Local’s, the Board’s, ETFO         negotiation team drew heavily        We must guard against breaches
Provincial’s, the Ontario Public   on the will and strength of the      of new provisions. Improve-
School Boards Association’s and    5,600 elementary teachers. It        ments to working conditions
the Ministry of Education’s.       was the knowledge that we            were hard-won and came as a
While the framework embodied       jointly held one vision and one      result of the solidarity demon-
many of the working condition      goal that energized the negotia-     strated by the membership.
issues Peel teachers had given     tion team. Fifty-two hours after     Successful implementation will
their negotiation team a 95        negotiations had begun on May        also require the same demon-
percent strike mandate to          25, the Local and the Board          stration of resolve. Our work is
achieve, there still remained      representatives shook hands          not complete. We must continue
many local issues that were not    and signed a tentative agree-        to work together for a better
going to go away.                  ment.                                future. ÿ




                                                                                                       SUMMER 2005 11
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY




         BY
              Workplace Violence
              DOUG HITCHCOCK
              This article contains summary of key legislation concerning violent incidents in
              schools. The ratification of our new contract has brought with it new Health and
              Safety obligations.
              Contract clause 20.05 states                           on school premises.                          ing possessing a firearm.
              “Violence shall be defined as                                                                       2. Using a weapon to cause or to
              any incident in which a teacher                  SUSPENSIONS
                                                                                                                  threaten bodily harm to another
              is intimidated, threatened or                    Ontario legislation called the
                                                                                                                  person.
              assaulted.” Violence must never                  Safe Schools Act states that
                                                               A student must* be suspended                       3. Committing physical assault
              be an expected part of your
                                                               from school for:                                   on another person that causes
              employment.
                                                                                                                  bodily harm requiring treatment
                   The Peel District School                    1. Uttering a threat to inflict
                                                                                                                  by a medical practitioner.
              Board, like any employer, has an                 serious bodily harm on another
              obligation to “take every                        person.                                            4. Committing sexual assault.
              precaution reasonable” to                        2. Possessing alcohol or illegal                   5. Trafficking in weapons or in
              protect the safety of its workers.               drugs.                                             illegal drugs.

                                                               3. Being under the influence of                    6. Committing robbery.
              POLICE INVOLVEMENT                               alcohol.                                           7. Giving alcohol to a minor.
              The Peel District School Board
                                                               4. Swearing at a teacher or                        8. Engaging in another activity
              works in conjunction with the
                                                               other person in a position of                      that, under a policy of the board,
              Peel Regional Police and the
                                                               authority.                                         is one for which expulsion is
              OPP using the Police and School
                                                               5. Committing an act of vandal-                    mandatory.
              Response Protocol which states
              that the following incidents                     ism that causes extensive                          There are two types of expul-
              must be reported to the police:                  damage at the pupil’s school or                    sions: limited and full. Princi-
                  possession of weapons;                       to property located on the                         pals can hand out only a limited
                  threats of serious physical                  premises of the pupil’s school.                    expulsion. School Boards can
                  injury;                                                                                         issue a limited or a full expul-
                  physical assaults causing                    EXPULSIONS                                         sion. A limited expulsion means
                  bodily harm;                                 It is mandatory* that a pupil be                   that a student can be expelled
                  sexual assault;                              expelled if the pupil commits                      from your school for between 21
                  robbery and extortion;                       any of the following infractions                   days and one year. In order to
                  hate motivated violence;                     while he or she is at school or is                 return to school, a student must
                  vandalism causing exten-                     engaged in a school-related                        meet the requirements for
                  sive damage to school                        activity:                                          return set out by the Board. A
                  property or property located                 1. Possessing a weapon, includ-                    CONTINUED            ON    PAGE      28



               ETFO’s DEFINITION OF VIOLENCE
               A violent incident encompasses any aggressive act that causes physical or emotional harm to a member and includes violence or any
               threatening statement that gives the member reasonable cause to believe that there is a risk of physical or emotional harm. Intent is not a
               factor in determining risk to members. It does not matter that an assailant may be incapable of making a reasoned judgement prior to acting.

               Visit www.etfopeel.com to download a form for reporting violence to the Local.

12 PEEL PASSAGES
                                                                          EDUCATIONAL ISSUES




BY
   The Perils of Testing
     MARGARET STEWART
Recently I was asked to provide some information on standardized tests, with a
view to explaining why so many educators and teacher organizations are so
opposed to this particular mode of evaluating student learning and school success.
While I am no expert on this         those answered correctly 50          characteristics of the
subject, I have done a good deal     percent of the time).                students being tested,
of reading in the area and have           Criterion-referenced tests,     results may be misleading
attended a couple of assessment      on the other hand, are supposed      or misinterpreted.
and evaluation conferences.          to measure how well an individ-      Many types of student
While proponents claim these         ual has learned a specific body      ability which are clearly
tests increase accountability (of    of knowledge or set of skills, or    among the goals of educa-
teachers, schools, systems), I       how well a student has learned       tion are not captured by
have found virtually no philo-       what is taught in a specific         standardized tests. Exam-
sophical support for them, a         course or grade. The passing or      ples include sense of
multitude of articles in opposi-     acceptable level of performance      citizenship, ethics, aesthetic
tion to them and a good deal of      is often set by a panel of “ex-      appreciation, respect for
material designed and marketed       perts,” which might include          others, self-esteem, social
to help teachers and students        teachers, members of the             competence and intellectual
prepare for them. There are          business community, etc. T   ests    curiosity. The reality of
several issues to consider.          are described as “high-stakes”       multiple intelligences is
                                     when the results are used to         largely discounted.
THE NATURE OF THE TEST               make decisions about place-          Tests which are to be used
A standardized test is one that is   ment, retention, graduation, etc.    for a large number of
given and scored in the same         It is these high-stakes tests that   students must be very
way, no matter where or when it      have been most criticized by         general, which leads to
is given, so that scores of all      educators and teachers groups        frequent mismatches
students can be compared, one        across the country, and indeed       between test questions and
against the other. Often the         around the world.                    curriculum – or what is
format is multiple choice, so             In Standardized Testing:        taught and what is tested.
that they can be machine             Undermining Equity in                (SAIP2 tests are adminis-
scored. Of these, norm-              Education,1 Bernie Froese-           tered to a random sample of
referenced tests are used to         Germain argues that while            over 35,000 13- and 16-year-
evaluate the performance of one      standardized tests may be            olds across Canada. PISA3
student in relation to the           useful in the sorting and            involved 265,000 students in
performance of others, or to         ranking of students, they do not     32 countries). An interna-
compare individuals to a             effectively measure student          tional math and science
“norm.” They are designed so         learning or development. The         assessment in 1996
that results fit a “bell curve,”     following are among the most         (TIMSS4) reported test-
with most in the middle, and a       common arguments (parenthe-          curriculum matches ranging
few at the high and at the low       ses mine):                           from 53 percent in one
end (questions are chosen on              While tests can be standard-    province to 98 percent in
the basis of how they contribute          ized, students cannot.          another.
to spreading out the scores –             Without considering the         Standardized tests tend to


                                                                                                      SUMMER 2005 13
EDUCATIONAL ISSUES




                   measure what is easy to         each school and district in the         routinely tested may be
                   measure (lower-order            province.                               relegated to second-class
                   recall), and penalize higher-        In the United States, results      status. (Larry Booi,
                   order thinking – analyzing,     are regularly used to inform            President of the Alberta
                   synthesizing, forming           decision making about funding           Teachers’ Association, in an
                   hypotheses and problem          levels, with higher performing          interview with Today’s
                   solving (for example, there     schools being rewarded with             Parent, expressed this very
                   might be three logical          increased funding, and lower            concern. “Fine arts, lan-
                   answers to a multiple choice    performing schools losing               guages, practical arts, all
                   question, but only one will     funding; and to select teachers         these other areas – physical
                   be marked right because         for rewards such as enhanced            education, health – none of
                   there is no opportunity to      salaries for high or improved           them factor into the schools’
                   explain one’s answer).          test results.                           rankings, and so we’ve seen
                                                                                           the deterioration of those
             HOW THE RESULTS ARE                   NEGATIVE IMPACT ON                      programs because every-
             USED                                  TEACHING AND LEARNING                   one’s obsessed about what
             While many are concerned with         Most opponents of standardized          their school gets ranked
             the nature of the tests, the          testing maintain that while             on.”5)
             greater concern is often with         results say little about the            Methodologies which are
             how the results are used.             quality of teaching or learning,        meant to promote critical
             Standardized tests results across     there are a number of ways in           thinking, problem solving,
             the United States, and increas-       which their use may impact              analysis, hypothesizing and
             ingly across Canada, are being        negatively on both. For exam-           synthesizing may give way
             used to place, retain and track       ple:                                    to an emphasis on recall of
             students; and to compare and               In an attempt to raise test        facts and rote learning.
                                                                                           Test preparation and
                                                                                           administration take up
  Standardized tests tend to measure what is                                               valuable time which could
     easy and penalize higher-order thinking.                                              be used for instruction. (The
                                                                                           Grade 6 Language Arts
             rank students, teachers, schools          scores, teachers may teach          Assessment in
             and school boards.                        to the test, and curriculum         Newfoundland is adminis-
                  In Nova Scotia and New               may become test driven. (At         tered over nine days: three
             Brunswick, provincial exams in            a recent meeting, I spoke to        days for the first component
             a number of Grade 11 and 12               teachers from other prov-           and 60–90 minute blocks
             courses account for 30 percent            inces who admitted doing            each day for the next six).
             of the students’ final mark. The          just that – even though they        In extreme cases reported in
             Fraser Institute has used test            had previously thought they         the U.S., because jobs,
             results in Alberta and Ontario to         never would. Alberta                reputations, schools, etc.,
             produce and publish “report               publishes old achievement           are on the line, students
             cards” which compare results              tests on the government             have been encouraged to
             and then rank schools through-            website so that teachers and        cheat, and/or results are
             out the province – currently an           students may use them to            doctored to make a school
             impossibility in Prince Edward            get ready for the next              look better than it is.
             Island which does not adminis-            round.)
             ter provincial exams. “Report             The curriculum may be            RESOURCE ALLOCATION
             Card 98,” released publicly by            narrowed, in order to make       With parents and teachers in
             the New Brunswick Department              what is taught match more        most jurisdictions feeling that
             of Education Evaluation Branch,           closely what is tested, and      education is underfunded, many
             gave provincial exam results for          subjects which are not           are concerned that money spent


14 PEEL PASSAGES
                                                                                                                              EDUCATIONAL ISSUES




on external exams and stan-                     territories, has participated in                          Equity in Education. Canadian
dardized tests is necessarily                   this program, and in PISA.                                Teachers’ Federation, 1999.
money which is not spent on                     These tests have a multiple-                              2. Student Achievement Indicators
staffing, resource materials,                   choice component, but are not                             Program a project of the Council of
teacher in-service and profes-                  solely in this format. They are                           Ministers of Education Canada
                                                                                                          (CMEC).
sional development. And there                   criterion-referenced tests, are
are large sums of money                         administered to samples of                                3. Program for International Student
involved. For example, in June,                 students only and are not high-                           Assessment a project of the
                                                                                                          Organisation for Economic Co-
2001, the Ontario Ministry of                   stakes. For these reasons, they
                                                                                                          operation and Development (OECD).
Education estimated that a new,                 are perceived as being more                               Co-ordinated in Canada by Human
expanded testing program                        palatable than others.                                    Resources Development Canada
would cost $16,000,000 annu-                         There are some indications                           (HRDC), Council of Ministers of
ally, in addition to $33,000,000                that there is a backlash begin-                           Education Canada (CMEC), Statistics
                                                                                                          Canada and provincial ministries and
already spent on testing in                     ning against standardized tests                           departments of education.
Grades 3, 6, 9 and 10.                          as a means of assessing teach-
     The last provincial exams                  ing and learning, and a move                              4. Third International Mathematics and
                                                                                                          Science Study conducted under the
were written in Prince Edward                   toward what is generally called
                                                                                                          auspices of the International
Island in 1969. We have not                     “authentic” or “performance-                              Association for the Evaluation of
administered any standardized                   based” assessment. In Prince                              Educational Achievement (IEA).
test to all students at any grade               Edward Island we are already
                                                                                                          5. Waytiuk, Judy and Brearton, Steve.
level since we discontinued use                 there! By continuing to work                              “Making the Grade: Your child’s
of the Canadian Test of Basic                   with teachers to hone their                               success in school may depend on
Skills in 1991. A cursory look at               assessment/evaluation skills and                          where you live.” Today’s Parent,
the documentation around the                    working to ensure that assess-                            September 2002, p. 60.
elimination of both of these                    ment is closely linked to learn-                          6. For those who would like more
programs will show that they                    ing, as it should be, we can                              information on this topic, there is an
were dropped for many of the                    continue to lead the class!6 ÿ                            abundance of material available. Look
                                                                                                          at several issues of almost any recently
reasons that educators currently
                                                                                                          published educational journal and you
oppose standardized tests.                      This article is excerpted from
                                                                                                          are likely to find a number of articles.
     While the Canadian Teach-                  Passing the T  est: The False Prom-                       Check out the Fair Test site on the web
                                                ises of Standardized Testing, Marita                      (www.fairtest.org) as well as the
ers’ Federation and its member
                                                Moll, editor. Canadian Centre for                         Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
organizations have expressed
                                                Policy Alternatives, 2004.                                (www.policyalternatives.ca) and the
some concerns about SAIP and                                                                              Canadian Teachers’ Federation
the interpretation of the results,              NOTES                                                     (www.ctf-fce.ca); read almost anything
Prince Edward Island, along                     1. Froese-Germain, Bernie.                                by Alfie Kohn (much of it online).
with most provinces and                         Standardized Testing: Undermining


                        Passing the Test:
                        The False Promises of Standardized Testing
                        EDITED BY MARITA MOLL
                        552 African-American high school students with low skills were expelled from
                        school in Birmingham, Alabama, just before a big state test. Test scores went up
                        and the superintendent got a bonus.
                        “Maybe in the twenty-first century, satire about the schools is no longer even
                        possible,” says U.S. testing critic Susan Ohanian.
                        In recent years, and without much public scrutiny, large-scale testing projects
                        have become firmly established in Canada and around the world. These tests are
                        now self-perpetuating industries. They divert large sums of public monies from
                        resource-starved schools. Teachers and students are pressured to increase the
      February 2004
                        school’s test scores. Low ranking schools are publicly stigmatized. Does any of
   ISBN 0-88627-334-X
                        this improve learning?
       $24.95
                        In this collection, researchers, teachers, parents and students speak out about
                        the problems of standardized testing and the growing opposition to it.



                                                                                                                                                 SUMMER 2005 15
EDUCATIONAL ISSUES


   Ontario Elementary Teachers Vote to                                             What Are We Testing For?
   Boycott Marking
   At the ETFO (Elementary Teachers’ Federation of
   Ontario) 2001 Annual Meeting held in August 2001,
                                                                                    What’s So Standard About Standardized Testing?
   delegates passed the following resolution:                                       “Where high-stakes testing has become common practice, there is
   THAT ETFO ENCOURAGE MEMBERS NOT TO                                               evidence of low-achieving students being dismissed on test days,
   PARTICIPATE IN ANY EQAO MARKING EXERCISE.                                        students with low test scores being placed in special education
                                                                                    programs to avoid having their scores reflected in school reports,
   Delegates informed the annual meeting that the results                           students being refused admission on the basis of low scores and
   of these assessments have been misused to undermine                              students with low test scores even being encouraged to drop out of
   the teaching profession and the students on Ontario. As                          school.”
   such, if teachers continue to participate in marking of                          Froese-Germain, B., Standardized testing + High Stakes Decisions = Educational Inequity, Interchange,
   these assessments they may be perceived as condoning                             32(2), 111-30, U.S., 2001
   and supporting the inappropriate use of assessment
                                                                                    TEXAS
   results.
                                                                                    Every year, the Texas board of education establishes a “cut grade” –
   The emerging trend within the media of ranking schools
                                                                                    the number of questions a student must answer correctly to pass a
   by assessment results has been unfair to students and is
                                                                                    test. Between 1998 and 2002, the cut grade for tests has decreased
   potentially destructive to the education system.
                                                                                    by as many as 11 points, including in the math tests for Grades 4, 8
   Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario. Advisory to Members, August 2001
   http://www.etfo.ca/documents/EQAO_Marking_Update.PDF                             and 10. The board says the fluctuations simply reflect the varying
                                                                                    level of difficulty of each test and are necessary to maintain equivalent
                                                                                    passing standards. Others worry politics are muddying the results in
                                                                                    Texas. “Once you start digging, its amazing how these scores can be
                                                                                    manipulated for political purposes.”
   League Tables Cause Student Burn Out                                             Schmidt, Sarah, “Texas: Miracle or Mirage?” National Post, November 19, 2002, p. A12


   Some experts believe that exam mania could scar the                              CANADA
   emotional health of a generation of children because of                          In 1998, CMEC decided that SAIP results would be reported in
   its relentless appetite for high grades at almost any cost.                      relationship to “public expectations of student performance.” Claiming
   A paper for the Institute of Public Policy Research                              to be too resource-strapped to use any other method, CMEC developed
   published in the summer argued that high-achieving                               a shortcut process of chatting up focus groups to generate numbers
   students could become success “junkies” and lose sight                           that are then represented as public opinion. CMEC now reports all
   of themselves, only feeling accepted if they got straight                        SAIP results by comparing them to expectations set in this haphazard
   As, while those who didn’t make the exam grade could                             way. The media duly reported that, in the most recent tests, Canadian
   feel like failures.
   The paper, Learning to Trust and Trusting to Learn by
   Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer, cited the apparent rise in
   eating disorders, burn-out, male disaffection and
   behaviour problems, even in the more academic schools,                           What’s the Cost of all This Testing?
   as signs that all is not well.
                                                                                    There is little information available on the financial costs of
   It argued that schools which focus too heavily on getting                        standardized testing. Especially for the international tests and surveys,
   children through exams and pushing themselves up local                           the costs are spread over the various partners involved in the exercise
   league tables by hook or by crook risk damaging                                  and are not easily accessible. The cost in teacher and student time
   childrens’ – and teachers’ – emotional health and                                and resources, often called “in kind contributions” is frequently not
   skewing broader educational objectives in the process.                           calculated. Nevertheless, the information below, collected from news
   The latest official study acknowledges that one in 10                            releases and newspaper articles, shows that the costs are
   children aged five to 15 will experience a clinically                            considerable. Unfortunately, the benefits, for students and the system,
   defined mental health problem. This can lead to children                         are not at all clear.
   under-achieving to avoid the risk of failure and, she says,
   schools have to provide an environment in which                                  NATIONAL ASSESSMENTS
   children feel valued beyond delivering “success” to                                    Federal support for SAIP: $1.5 million direct contribution
   parents, the school or the government.                                                 from HRDC (Human Resources Development Canada)
   “When there is so much pressure and focus on doing                                     Provincial (shared) support for SAIP: $1.5 million “in the
   well, children can feel they are only being valued for                                 form of human and material resources”
   being successful, so they can become depressed if they
   are not. They are working for and trying to meet                                       National Clearing House For Assessment Data: $100
   someone else’s expectations. They end up with very little                              million in 2003–04 for the establishment of the Canadian
   pleasure from their own work and they can end up losing                                Council on Learning
   the plot – burnt out or opting out.”
                                                                                    PROVINCIAL ASSESSMENTS (ONTARIO)
   Excerpted from: Wendy Berliner. “Success, the New Drug” UK Guardian, Thursday
   November 22, 2001.
                                                                                          Grade 3 and 6 (reading, writing and math): $6 million/yr.



16 PEEL PASSAGES
                                                                                                                                                        EDUCATIONAL ISSUES


EXAMINING STANDARDIZED TESTING                                                                        Is There Any Merit in Merit Pay?
                                                                                                      Imported from the US, where it continues to fail as a useful
                                                                                                      system for teacher remuneration, performance-related pay (PRP)
students had failed to live up to the public’s expectations, but no                                   is a tool that flows logically from the current mania for
reporter questioned how these expectations were set. The public                                       measurement activities. “It’s ironic that the system of connecting
might have been interested to learn that its views were generated                                     teacher pay to test results…led to the founding of the NUT 100
by 85 people invited by their respective ministers of education to                                    years ago,” says Tony Brockman, President of the National
guess how well students should perform on tests that these judges                                     Union of Teachers, the largest teacher union in the UK.
weren’t even allowed to see.
                                                                                                      Research and practice have continuously found PRP systems to
Robertson, Heather-Jane,. “Bogus Points” in Moll, Marita (ed), Passing the Test: The False Promises
of Standardized Testing, Ottawa, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2004                        be counterproductive and even destructive. “One of the real
                                                                                                      impacts of a system that bases pay increases on student
ONTARIO                                                                                               performance is that teachers of disadvantaged students are
In the 1996 Third International Mathematics and Science exam,                                         rarely eligible for such increases,” he noted.
the Grade 8 test results, presented in graph form in a mailout to                                     As a result of intensive lobbying and a court challenge, the NUT
every household, showed math and science results for the top 7 of                                     achieved important improvements to the original proposal
40 countries followed by the scores for Canada and Ontario                                            including additional funding, a set of appeal mechanisms and a
indicating the province ranked “the lowest of the low in lowly                                        review of the entire process in 2002. In the meantime, NUT is
Canada.” In reality, Canada ranked above average in both subjects                                     developing an alternative that would connect teacher pay
when compared with all 40 countries. Ontario’s math score was                                         increases to the identification of professional development needs
one percentage point below the international average. Its science                                     and the accreditation of enhanced qualifications. –Marita Moll
score was two percentage points over the international mean.                                          This article is excerpted from Passing the Test; The False Promises of Standardized Testing.
Froese-Germain, B., (2001), Standardized Testing + High Stakes Decisions = Educational                Marita Moll, editor. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2004. See www.maritamoll.ca for
Inequity, Interchange, 32(2), 111–30                                                                  more articles and order information.

In the 2002 Grade 10 literacy test, the provincial improvement of
8% pass rate (over the trial run administered in 2001) was a
travesty given that students knew the test would count and tried
hard and many schools had been drilling students on sample
questions. The passing grade was probably lower as well, but the                                      A Ten Step Alternative to High Stakes Testing
EQAO method of establishing the pass rate caused so much
                                                                                                      1. Eliminate the Grade 10 literacy test as a graduation
confusion that no one was sure.
                                                                                                      requirement; replace it with ongoing evaluations and
                                                est
Lipman, Peter, “The Ontario Grade 10 Literacy T and the Neo-conservative Agenda” in Moll,
Marita (ed), Passing the Test: The False Promises of Standardized Testing, Ottawa, Canadian Centre    appropriate remedial assistance.
for Policy Alternatives, 2004
                                                                                                      2. Use random standardized testing in certain subjects, grades
                                                                                                      and schools, followed by an analysis of the test results and
                                                                                                      intervention to improve areas of weakness before testing again.
                                                                                                      3. Provide time and resources to ensure that all students have
                                                                                                      success in school.
      Grade 9 (math assessment):$6 million/yr.                                                        4. Provide on-the-job training for teachers in curriculum
      Grade 10 (literacy test): $15 million/yr.                                                       delivery and use of performance-based tests that measure not
                                                                                                      just the ability to memorize facts but also the capacity for
      Cost of running Education Quality Assessment                                                    original thinking, perseverance and social responsibility.
      Office (EQAO) which also administers TIMSS
                                                                                                      5. Support students at risk with full service school teams,
      and SAIP: approx. $20 million/yr.
                                                                                                      including counselling and support from educational assistants
      Estimates of total cost vary from $50 million                                                   and professional student services personnel.
      to $59 million each year                                                                        6. Implement a consistent template for the content and
      Provincial plans (currently on hold) call for more                                              marking of Grade 12 examinations.
      testing to be phased in to the point where there                                                7. Implement a curriculum renewal cycle, beginning with a
      are exams in two core subjects per year from                                                    systematic review and revision of each grade and course that
      Grade 3 to Grade 11                                                                             has been offered in the new Ontario curriculum.
      In June 2001, the Ontario Ministry of Education                                                 8. Recognize the value of subject expertise by pilot testing
      estimated that a new expanded testing program                                                   Grades 7 to 12 schools with qualified subject specialists.
      would cost $16 million annually, in addition to                                                 9. Develop a self-evaluation process for schools and school
      the $33 million already spent testing Grades 3,                                                 boards every five to seven years.
      6, 9 and 10
                                                                                                      10. Measure and publicize accountability using a number of
      Ontario directors have asked for a 3-year                                                       indicators. The Education Quality Indicators Project (EQUIP)
      moratorium on the expansion of the current                                                      collects data on nine indicators including school climate,
      testing regime                                                                                  student achievement, education financing, community
                                                                                                      characteristics and stakeholder satisfaction.
Source: Standardized Testing in Canada, www.maritamoll.ca
                                                                                                      www.osstf.on.ca/www/issues/studentesting/tenstepalternative.html




                                                                                                                                                                                 SUMMER 2005 17
EDUCATIONAL ISSUES




        BY
          Testing the Limits
             PATRICIA McADIE
             Standardized testing at the elementary level in Ontario began in 1997. This
             is not the first time that we have had province-wide standardized tests, but
             it is the first time that these tests have been used for such young students.
             Grade 3 and 6 students are now        the nature of public education         ing that cannot read or write
             tested every year in reading,         in Ontario and elsewhere, but          adequately.
             writing, and mathematics.             not for the better.                        With all these supposed
             Provincial standardized tests are         Some find standardized             problems, standardized testing,
             also given in Grade 9 mathe-          tests as an indicator of the           along with its partner, standard-
             matics and Grade 10 literacy.         success of our education system        ized curriculum, are portrayed
             Students must pass the Grade          appealing. Some parents feel           as the solution. Bring in the
             10 literacy test in order to          confident that the results of the      tests, bring in the rigid stan-
             graduate from secondary school.       tests give an accurate picture of      dardized curriculum and then
             Plans are under way to bring in       the achievement of their child         we will have an education
             more standardized tests in            and of the education system as a       system that meets the goal of
             Grades 4 to 11 in other subject       whole. Regardless of where in          ensuring our society is ready for
             areas. Currently, Prince Edward       the province you may live, each        the new global economy.
             Island is the only province that      child gets the same test and               Policymakers like standard-
             does not administer provincial        presumably is scored in the            ized testing. Robert Linn, a
             exams at some level. Alberta,         same way. It also appears to           specialist in education measure-
             Manitoba, New Brunswick,              take the politics out of educa-        ment, outlines this appeal:
             Newfoundland, and Ontario all         tion by providing a so-called              They are relatively inexpen-
             have provincial tests for Grade 3     objective measure of achieve-              sive, compared with reforms
             students. New Brunswick does          ment. The disagreements                    such as reducing class size
             not report the results for individ-   between teachers and the                   or improving professional
             ual students. British Columbia        government can be ignored – at             development for teachers.
             starts testing at Grade 4 and         least when it comes to how well            The testing can be exter-
             Saskatchewan begins at Grade          their child is doing.                      nally mandated without
             5. Saskatchewan’s testing is              We have been told repeat-              relying on substantive
             only a sample of students and is      edly by politicians, the media,            changes in the classroom.
             only reported at the provincial       and those advocating for                   Testing changes can be
             level.                                privatization of education that            rapidly implemented –
                  Is this what we want for our     there is a crisis in education.            “ within the term of office of
             students? For our teachers? For       This crisis, they say, is the result       elected officials.”
             public education? Do the results      of an approach to education that           Results are visible, espe-
             provide any useful information        favoured child-centred policies            cially when reported to the
             or help improve our education         that did not teach the basics.             media. “Poor results in the
             system? The short answer is no.       The claim is that Canada, and              beginning are desirable for
             This focus on standardized            particularly Ontario, has not              policymakers who want to
             testing and a rigid curriculum        measured up on international               show they have had an
             that goes with it has changed         tests and students are graduat-            effect. Based on past


18 PEEL PASSAGES
                                                                                           EDUCATIONAL ISSUES




   experience, policymakers         these students were using the         with the old curriculum. We
   can reasonably expect            old curriculum, so the results        have gone full circle. It took
   increases in scores in the       were not good enough. The next        four years with the new curricu-
   first few years of a pro-        year, the Ministry of Education       lum to achieve the same level as
   gram…with or without real        news release states that 42           with the old curriculum. Do
   improvement in the broader       percent score at level 3; it states   these news releases sound like
   achievement constructs that      that only 34 percent scored at        political messages, rather than
   tests and achievements are       this level in 1997. What the          reporting the results? Depend-
   intended to measure. The         release fails to mention, how-        ing on the political agenda, the
   resulting overly rosy picture    ever, is the percentage of            reports vary. The Ministry of
   that is painted by short-term    students scoring at level 4 in        Education news releases can be
   gains observed in most new       both years – 16 percent in 1997       found on their website at
   testing programs gives the       and four percent in 1998. The         www.edu.gov.on.ca. The EQAO
   impression of improvement        total of level 3 and 4, which is      reports can be found at
   right on schedule for the        the usual measure, is then 50         www.eqao.com.
   next election” (Robert L.        percent for 1997 but only 46              The latest example of
   Linn, “Assessments and           percent for 1998. This is a           reporting the data to fit a
   Accountability,” Educational     significant drop in scores when       political agenda is for the
   Researcher, March 2000,          students go from the old              Ontario Grade 10 literacy test.
   Volume 29, Number 2,             curriculum to the new “im-            Students first wrote the test in
   4–16).                           proved” curriculum. Maybe it          2000. The results from the first
                                    takes more time to get used to        year did not count and the
The news releases from the          the new material.                     students knew that. Beginning
Ontario Ministry of Education           In 1999, the news release         with the 2001–02 year, students
are interesting to follow from      says there was a 13 percent           must pass the test in order to
year to year. Before the new        increase in mathematics scores,       graduate from high school. The
curriculum was in place, the test   but only states that the reading      results from the second year
results were described as           results were similar to the           were reported as 75 percent
reflecting the poor common          previous year. In fact, there was     passing, compared with 68
curriculum of the previous          a one percent decline in reading      percent in the first year. EQAO
government. Then the results on     scores. The news release for the      has always reported results
the tests got
better, but
there was
              The tests represent a distinct shift in focus from learning
room for
improve-
              to performing , from thinking to performing or responding.
ment. Each
year they are described as          2000 results gives no numbers         using Method 1, which includes
getting better as a result of the   for any of the results. In 2001,      all students in the cohort,
reforms in curriculum, testing,     the news release reports figures      whether or not they actually
the new standardized report         for Grade 3 mathematics (up           took the test until now. For the
card, but they are never quite      from 43 percent in 1998 to 61         first time, they have switched to
good enough. More testing is        percent, both numbers the same        Method 2, which includes only
brought in and more reforms are     as reported by EQAO), but no          those students who actually
instituted.                         other Grade 3 results are             wrote the test. Under Method 1,
    The figures reported in the     reported. For Grade 3 reading,        69 percent passed the test this
news releases are most interest-    the actual results show a small       year, compared with 61 percent
ing. In 1997, 50 percent of         increase. In fact, by 2001, Grade     last year. It appears that 75
students in Grade 3 scored at       3 students are now performing         percent sounds more acceptable
level 3 or above in reading. But    at the same level as they were        than 69 percent. It remains to be


                                                                                                         SUMMER 2005 19
EDUCATIONAL ISSUES




             seen whether Method 2 will be      does not include other Ministry      questions are becoming more
             used to report test results from   costs or district school board       abundant. They do not allow for
             now on.                            cost associated with prepara-        creativity, for differences, for
                 There are a growing number     tion, administration and follow-     explanations or for more than
             of books and countless articles    up of the tests. It does not         one right answer.
             and monographs pointing out        include the time spent in class           “If one mousetrap catches
             various problems with standard-    preparing for the tests and          one mouse everyday,” she reads
             ized testing. See, for example,    administering the tests. It does     slowly, “and two mousetraps
             Alfie Kohn, The Case Against       not include the time spent at the    catch four mice, and three
             Standardized Testing, 2000; W.     school or the school board on        mouse traps catch nine mice,
             James Popham, The Truth About      various aspects of the tests. This   and four traps get sixteen mice,
                                                                                                            then how
                                                                                                            many traps
  Accountability is not the same as testing. Accountability                                                 will be
  should be a measure of the purpose we hold for school.                                                    needed to
                                                                                                            catch
                                                                                                            twenty-five
             Testing, 2001; Bernie Froese-      is a huge investment for some-       mice?” How many traps then,
             Germain, Standardized Testing:     thing with a very questionable       Jiri?” asks the teacher.
             Undermining Equity in              return.                                   Jiri smiles. His glasses are
             Education, 1999; FairTest               And this does not include       filthy. His whiskers shine.
                                          et
             website www.fairtest.org. Y we     the costs of the growing test        “One,” he says. “Of course, you
             continue adding more tests,        preparation companies. For $10,      would need almost a month.” (p.
             publishing the results in          you can buy Help Your Child          75–77, Of Mice and Nutcrack-
             newspapers, checking the           Prepare for Ontario Grade 3          ers: A Peeler Christmas, by
             rankings, comparing one            Language Tests or Help Your          Richard Scrimger, Tundra
             school, board, province or         Child Prepare for Ontario Grade      Books, Toronto, 2001). How
             country with another. We have      6 Mathematics Tests or Helping       would this response be scored?
             more than enough evidence that     Your Child Prepare for Ontario            Standardized tests do not
             such tests are inappropriate and   Grade 3 Mathematics Tests. You       improve student learning, but
             even damaging. So why do we        can enrol your child at Sylvan       they do help to separate the
             continue with them?                for a few hundred dollars. You       winners from the losers.
                 Because the people that are    can hire a private tutor for         Bringing these tests into the
             making the decisions don’t         hundreds of dollars per year. It     elementary level ensures that
             really care about the research.    is estimated that the tutoring       young children are initiated into
             They are concerned with            and test preparation industry is     the competitive world of mar-
             promoting a different agenda,      worth close to $4 billion (“The      kets and meritocracy. Lisa
             one that values markets, profits   Education Industry Reports.          Graham Keegan, Arizona
             and social stratification. The     Pre-K–12,” February 7, 2002,         Superintendent of Education
             results are presented to support   eduventures.com).                    and an advocate of standardized
             the arguments.                          The tests represent a           testing, refers to “gatekeeper
                 The annual budget for the      distinct shift in focus from         skills” (PBS Online Focus,
             Education Quality and              learning to performing, from         School Testing, Feb. 15, 2001,
             Accountability Office (EQAO) in    thinking to performing or            www.pbs.org). In other words,
             Ontario is about $50 million.      responding. Essay questions          not everyone should be allowed
             They administer the provincial     must be answered with five           to pass through the gate, to
             Grade 3, 6 and 9 tests, the        paragraphs. Short answer             pass, to succeed. You can’t have
             Grade 10 literacy tests, the       questions must be no less than       winners if you don’t have losers.
             national SAIP and the interna-     three sentences and no more          “Such tests do not measure
             tional TIMSS tests. This cost      than five. Multiple choice           creativity, judgment, persis-


20 PEEL PASSAGES
                                                                                                              EDUCATIONAL ISSUES




tence, higher-order thinking,               measures – observe you child’s               Accountability should be a
stamina, motivation, imagina-               behaviour, visit the school, talk            measure of the purpose we hold
tion, determination, sense of               with the teachers.                           for school. If we are interested
craft or civic mindedness.” (G.                  None of this means we                   in democratic citizenship, then
Bracy, A Lesson Plan for the                should not or cannot hold high               look at voting rates, particularly
Schools With Little Learning                standards for students. “Having              among young people, volunteer-
Behind It, Center for Education             high standards is not the same               ing and participation in the
Research, Analysis and                      as having common standards for               community, crime rates. If we
Innovation, Jan. 28, 2001). But             all, especially when they are                are concerned with social
that is not the point of the tests.         tied to a lock step of age or                efficiency, of educating our
The point seems to be to stratify           grade level.” (Robert L. Linn,               future work force, then look at
students.                                   “Assessments and                             students’ ability to take their
     Is there a legitimate reason           Accountability,” Educational                 place in the workforce (not
for trying to construct better              Researcher, March 2000,                      unemployment levels, which
standardized tests? Some, such              Volume 29, Number 2, 4–16).                  measure market factors, not the
as James Popham, (The Truth                 Teachers do expect the best from             ability of the workforce). If we
About Testing: An Educator’s                their students. What Ontario’s               are interested in social mobility,
Call to Action, 2001) argue that            schools need are the resources               in perpetuating the meritocratic,
you can develop fair, appropri-             to be able to ensure a high                  class-based society, then keep
ate standardized tests that                 quality education system for all             the tests.
would address accountability.               students – lower class sizes,                     Public education is more
Others, such as Alfie Kohn (The             particularly in the early grades,            than just public ownership of
Case Against Standardized                   more resources, more supports                the schools. It should include
Testing: Raising the Scores,                for students and teachers, a full            public control for the common
Ruining the Schools, 2000),                 range of programs.                           good, for a common purpose.
argue that no form of standard-                  And none of this means we               Public education should be the
ized testing is appropriate; to             should not or cannot be                      responsibility of all of us, not
address accountability, we                  accountable. Accountability is               left for a handful of politicians. ÿ
should look at more subjective              not the same as testing.




    Huh?
    TESTS BREACH U.N. CONVENTION
    Article 29 of the Human Rights Convention says that education should be “directed to the development of the child’s
    personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential.” A special reporter for the U.N. Human
    Rights Commission has said that the case could be made that the British Government’s target-and-test regime is
    against the convention because it is designed to meet government objectives, rather than the development of the
    child. Katarina Tomasevsi told the Guardian: “Wherever testing is introduced…it tends to overwhelm the whole
    design of education. Teachers have to teach to the test because that’s how children are evaluated and how teachers
    are evaluated. The voice of children is missing.”

    Our Schools Ourselves Vol.13, No.2 (issue 74) Winter 2004



                                                                                                                                SUMMER 2005 21
AROUND PEEL




 A Look at Teacher
         BY   MARINA WILLATS
              Dan Rollings stood in front of the classroom bulletin board. It was typical of
              what you would find in most classrooms: two countries drawn and labelled
              in the familiar venn diagram with the title ‘Similarities and Differences.’
              One side was England and the other side was Canada. In the differences
              section, Dan read, “You can ski in Canada, but not after 5 p.m. because
              you may be attacked by wild boars.”
              Dan chuckled. He and his            hosts, Kate and Coralie, who        schools,” says Hardy. “It allows
              colleague, Lynne Burnett, are       would travel to Dan and Lynne’s     us to learn from each other and
              Canadian guests in this class-      school, Huttonville PS two          apply that knowledge in our
              room and the English students       weeks later. During their stay,     own schools.”
              hope to hear first-hand accounts    Dan bunked in the town of               Both administrators decided
              of these savage attacks.            Willeton at the house of an         to encourage staff to take
                   Lynn, 29 and Dan, 26,          educator assistant while Lynne      advantage of the partnership
              arrived in London, England just     stayed in the country at            and consider applying for the
              before the beginning of the         Coralie’s cosy thatched annexe.     exchange. For Lynne, it was
              March break, chosen to repre-       Their time would be spent at                           .D.
                                                                                      more than just a P opportu-
              sent their school in a teacher      Danesfield Academy, a school        nity. “My parents are both from
              exchange. They planned to           which has forged a close            Somerset. They came to Canada
              spend their time observing          relationship with Lynne and         soon after they married.” If her
              teaching practices and deliver-     Dan’s home school.                  parents had stayed in Somerset,
              ing a few lessons on Canadian            Last spring, Huttonville’s     Lynne would have likely
              history. Unfortunately, they had    principal, Mary Jane Hardy,         attended a school much like
              not planned any lessons on how      traded places with the headmas-     Danesfield. It was a chance for
              to survive a wild boar attack.      ter of Danesfield. “The             her to see a different side of her
                   After their six-hour flight,   exchange is a great professional    history and to connect with the
              they took a three-hour-long bus     development opportunity for         family members who remained
              ride to Somerset to meet their      administration and staff at both    in Somerset.



                     WHAT DO LYNNE AND DAN SAY ABOUT DANESFIELD?
                       They observed the set-up of ability groupings which vary from subject to subject; they felt the
                       organization of the groups really empowered the students. Lynne plans on studying England’s
                              National Standards Curriculum to compare and find links to our Provincial Curriculum.


22 PEEL PASSAGES
EXCHANGES
     After Dan and Lynne settled      First. “I was constantly struck         much like back home, though
into their respective ‘homes’         by the history of the surround-         the teachers gathered at the
and used the weekend to reset         ings which seemed so common-            local pub where they talked
their internal clocks, they were      place to them,” says Dan. Lynne         shop with the staff over fish ’n’
ready to face their new students.     adds, “I was impressed by the           chips and ale. Plenty of ale. Dan
Dan started his day with what         behaviour exhibited by the              and Lynne spent the rest of their
he called a traditional English       students. Sure they chatted as          days observing classes at
breakfast – coffee, burnt toast,      they walked toward the gym but          Danesfield, which houses
marmalade and cereal – while          as soon as they entered, they           Grades 4–8, and the feeder
Lynne had a gentler start to the      became silent and respectful.           school, Knight’s Templar. When
day with a cup of tea delivered       You could hear a pin drop.”             they were not in the school, they
to her room. “It was the best tea     As the students made their way          visited Plymouth, Dartmouth
I’ve ever had,” exclaimed             to their classrooms, Dan and            and Lindton. They were con-
Lynne. Once they arrived, they        Lynne expected to face students         stantly in awe of the juxtaposi-
found that school couldn’t be         waiting to listen attentively. But      tion of the historical and
more typically British, in fact,      they soon realized students are         modern-day conveniences;
much like a popular children’s        much the same across the pond.          though refreshingly, not a mall
novel, minus the magic. The           “The students were attentive as         in sight.
students wore uniforms – not a        long as our history lesson                   Dan and Lynne ended their
glint of jewelry in sight – and,      appealed to the interests of 12-        trip with a desire to continue
without an intercom, gather           year-old boys – blood, guts and         their connection to Danesfield,
daily in the gym to hear the          war.” But the real fun started          possibly by creating student ‘e-
announcements. “It’s like Harry       when the students posed their           pals.’ And one last trip to the
Potter,” commented Dan. “The          own questions: In Canada, do            pub. As a special treat, Lynne’s
students sit in their assigned        you all drive dog sleds? Are all        uncle brought his group, The
houses named after the histori-       you police dressed like Mount-          Morris Men, to send them off
cal families of Somerset.” Kate       ies? Do you have houses? Do you         with some traditional songs. As
is the staff leader of the Luttrel    have cars? This same question           the fire roared and the band
house. The earliest known             would be directed at Coralie            played, Lynne and Dan danced
Luttrell was Sir Geoffrey, aid to     when she stood in front of the          the night away with their new
King John, who joined his             Canadian students.                      friends. ÿ
rebellion against Richard the              Dan and Lynne’s day ended


 WHAT DO KATE AND CORALIE SAY ABOUT HUTTONVILLE?
 They were impressed with the relaxed nature of the teachers; they felt the teachers had a much better rapport
 with the students and are not as rigid as the English teachers. They were interested in gaining more informa-
 tion on how we integrate our special needs students. In England they are slowly moving in that direction.


                                                                                                                 SUMMER 2005 23
AROUND PEEL




Book Reviews                                      diversity of practical projects
                                                  and learning strategies.
                                                                                     and discoveries about the
                                                                                     natural world.
                                                       In the “Approaches to              The “Plants and Animals”
                                                  Learning” section, readers will    section includes activities for
                                                  find innovative ideas for          studying forests and monarch
                                                  exploring the natural world,       butterflies, as well as a “Great
                                                  promoting environmental            Lakes Food Web Drama” and
                                                  citizenship and integrated         instructions for creating a
                                                  project-based learning, along      tropical rainforest simulation in
                                                  with opportunities for taking      a school gym. One of the most
                                                  action and practising authentic    compelling articles looks at the
                                                  democracy. A particularly          research showing that having
                                                  interesting article is “Guiding    animals in the classroom
                                                  Your School Toward Environ-        contributes both to learning and
                                                  mental Literacy,” which outlines   to the development of empathy
                                                  a step-by-step, whole-school       and respect for all living
             TEACHING GREEN:                      approach used successfully by      creatures. Included are useful
             THE ELEMENTARY                       dozens of Calgary schools over     guidelines for animal care and
                                                  the past decade to evaluate        recommendations on the most
             YEARS                                what a school is already doing     appropriate classroom pets.
             Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn
                                                  and then develop a workable             While the book focuses on
             Subtitled “Hands-on Learning         plan.                              helping kids develop a strong
             in Grades K–5,” this 240-page,            In “Exploring Nature          connection with the natural
             large-format paperback contains      Around Us,” the largest section    world, there are many articles
             over 50 of the best teaching         of the book, a Grade 1 teacher     that focus on the social and
             strategies and activities contrib-   describes taking her class on an   global aspects of our environ-
             uted to the non-profit Green         overnight trip; a naturalist       ment. For example, readers will
             Teacher magazine during the          suggests ways to get the most      find activities for promoting
             past decade. Almost all were         out of a pond study; an article    global awareness in Kindergar-
             updated and revised for this         titled “The Numbered Forest”       ten, ideas for organizing a
             special 2005 anthology. As in        gives ides for incorporating       school-wide Development Days
             their 2004 book, Teaching            schoolyard trees into mathemat-    theme, and a recipe for baking a
             Green: The Middle Years (for         ics lessons. One author            “One World Cake” to help
             Grades 6–8), Toronto editors Tim     describes how observing            students understand how food
             Grant and Gail Littlejohn have       patterns in nature – such as the   links us to people and places
             assembled a wealth of kid-           nest-building behaviour of         around the world. One section
             tested ideas contributed by          squirrels – can help students to   describes a variety of projects to
             educators from across North          discover basic concepts of         link school and community,
             America, covering a wide                        wo
                                                  ecology. T others discuss the      such as creating community
             spectrum of environmental            use of creative journals as a      green maps and building
             topics and presenting a large        springboard to fresh insights      watershed models that educate


24 PEEL PASSAGES
                                                                                                                        AROUND PEEL




the community about local                                                               Who knew? Simon Winchester
threats to water quality. The                                                           eloquently crafts a biography of
final presents ideas for explor-                                                        the main players involved in the
ing the environment through                                                             making of the Oxford English
literature, imagination and                                                             Dictionary – an undertaking
celebration.                                                                            that began in 1857 and took 70
     The book is attractively                                                           years to complete. It is a social
designed and organized, and,                                                            and intellectual history which
for each article and activity, the                                                      throws light on the deep
editors have identified appropri-                                                       connection between madness
ate grade levels, subject areas,                                                        and genius. Along with plenty
key concepts, skills and materi-                                                        of interesting details, which you
als. One other teacher-friendly                                                         can casually throw out at your
detail is the practical “lay-flat”                                                      next Trivial Pursuit game, he
binding. The hands-on projects                                                          also keeps you pleasantly
and learning strategies in                                                              excited as you make your way to
Teaching Green: The Elementary                                                          the “I didn’t see that coming”
Years are sure to inspire all              THE PROFESSOR                                climax.
educators who are seeking                                                                    This is not a newly released
innovative ideas for incorporat-
                                           AND THE MADMAN                               novel, but a relatively undiscov-
                                           Simon Winchester
ing green themes into their                                                             ered one. It’s just a wonderful
programs.                                  sus·pense n.                                 story.
     For more information, or to
                                           1. The condition of being
order a copy for $27.95, contact:                                                       Marina Willats
                                           uncertain about an outcome or
Green Teacher                              decision.
95 Robert St.                              2. A feeling of anxiety or
Toronto, ON M5S 2K5                        excitement resulting from such
(416) 960-1244                             uncertainty.
(888) 804-1486                             3. Producing a pleasant excite-
www.greenteacher.com                       ment.
                                           War, prostitutes, murder,
                                           madness…and the dictionary?




    Huh?
    AFFLUENT PARENT INDEX
    California ranks all of its schools on Academic Performance Index (API) that is available on a web site. This has
    become a driver for real estate prices as buyers look for houses in areas with high API scores, with the scores
    affecting prices by as much as 20 percent. Because the test scores are largely correlated with socio-econimic status,
    some educators call the API the “affluent parent index.”

    Our Schools Ourselves Vol.14, No.2 (issue 78) Winter 2005



                                                                                                                            SUMMER 2005 25
AROUND PEEL




                                                    What can you contribute?
     Writers                                        Staff Lines
                                                    Share with your colleagues the comings and goings



     Wanted!
                                                    at your school; celebrations, exciting events and
                                                    special announcements.
                                                    Quality Teaching, Quality Program
                                                    A great chance to celebrate the excellence that goes
                                                    on in your classroom or the classroom of a colleague
          The Peel Passages                         that you admire.
        Editing Team is looking                     Book / Resource Review
                                                    Read a good book lately? Have you found a resource
        for contributions to be                     that you like? Write up a summary of a new resource
                                                    or book you have found helpful or enjoyable and
        considered for the next                     perhaps add tips to integrate the ideas covered by
                                                    the resource into the classroom.
         edition of the paper.                      Editorials / Letters to the Editor
                                                    What education issues matter to you? Share your
            Submit your articles to Kurt Uriarte    feelings and insight.
           kurtu@etfopeel.com
                                                   All submissions will be considered for inclusion by the editing team.




     the Pride Committee of Peel presents the second annual

     PRIDE DAY PICNIC IN PEEL
                     when
             Saturday, July 16                                          where
                                                                        Heart Lake
             Noon to 4:00 p.m.                                      Conservation Area

           Food available for purchase from Peel HIV/AIDS Network
            Come and help us celebrate! Prizes, Draws, Games, FUN!

                   For more information contact Jen Colborne · jen.colborne@peelsb.com


26 PEEL PASSAGES
                                                                                                                                                                         AROUND PEEL




              PETL Anti-Racism/Equity Committee invites you to

                      MARCH WITH PRIDE
                                  when
                            Sunday, June 26                                                                          where
                                                                                                       Southeast corner of
                             at 1:30 p.m.                                                            Bloor St. and Church St.
               Marching in the Pride Parade sends a powerful message to our LGBT colleagues,
           students and their families that they are safe in our schools. What better way to end
             a year of hard work but with the cheers and thanks of the communities we inspire?

                       For more information contact Jen Colborne · jen.colborne@peelsb.com
Parking and a mileage allowance or GO Train fares will be paid for by PETL for those who march with ETFO. Keep your tickets/parking receipts and see Jen at the marshalling area for your claim form.




                                                                                                                                                                                SUMMER 2005 27
THE LONG AND                           74, the Education Accountability          WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
WINDING ROAD                           Act, passed – although the provision      CONTINUED        FROM     PAGE     12

CONTINUED          FROM   PAGE   4     making extra-curricular activities        full expulsion comes only after an
                                       mandatory was never proclaimed.           expulsion hearing. If a student is
recommended to school councils
                                       Bill 81, the Safe Schools Act,            fully expelled, they can’t attend any
the creation of a College of Teach-
                                       established criminal record checks,       publicly funded school in Ontario
ers, the creation of EQAO and
                                       introduced a student code of              until after they have attended a
mandatory testing.
                                       conduct and downloaded student            Strict-Discipline Program or an
     In June of that year, the Pro-
                                       suspensions to teachers. Bill 80, the     equivalent program.
gressive Conservatives led by Mike
                                       Stability and Excellence in Educa-             The Ministry of Education’s
Harris won the provincial election.
                                       tion Act, 2001, introduced teacher        Violence-Free Schools Policy 1994
In November, the government
                                       professional learning and                 requires a Violent Incident Form to
slashed $500 million from educa-
                                       recertification, and required that all    be completed and filed in the OSR
tion funding. In 1996, the govern-
                                       new collective agreements have            if a student is suspended or
ment repealed the Employment
                                       three-year terms. ETFO responded          expelled for violent reasons. This is
Equity Act. In addition, the Harris
                                       with its ‘Accountability Yes/             not always being done. As a result
government passed the Education
                                       Recertification No’ proposal and          the reader of an OSR does not
Quality and Accountability Office
                                       creative bargaining strategies.           always have a complete picture of a
Act, which established EQAO and
                                       Lastly, Bill 110, the Quality in the      student’s behaviour and the
introduced standardized assess-
                                       Classroom Act, 2001, established an       resulting risk. Staff Development
ment across the grades. In addition,
                                       entry-to the-profession test and a        and Student Support Services has
the Act established a college of
                                       provincial performance appraisal          assured me that future improve-
teachers made up of teachers and
                                       model.                                    ments to the SIS system will make
government appointees and
                                            In September 2003, I began my        completion of such forms a compo-
included disciplinary procedures.
                                       first term as President of the Peel       nent of generating a suspension
     In 1997, Bill 104, the Fewer
                                       Local. There were elections at all        letter. These forms remain in the
School Boards Act, altered the
                                       levels of government: provincial,         OSR for a minimum of three years.
system of education governance by
                                       municipal and federal.                         If you feel that a violent situa-
reducing the number of school
                                            On October 2, 2003, after eight      tion is not being remedied appro-
boards from 129 to 72; 31 of them
                                       years of destructive power, the           priately, please contact the Peel
public district school boards. On
                                       Conservatives were defeated by the        ETFO office.
August 17 of that year, officers of
                                       Liberals, who campaigned on a                  The Ministry of Education’s
FWTAO and OPSTF signed the
                                       platform of education improvement.        Violence-Free Schools Policy can be
application for incorporation of a
                                       The federation has continued to           viewed at: www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/
new federation – ETFO. In October,
                                       press for changes to the regressive       document/policy/vfreeng.html ÿ
the government introduced Bill 160,
                                       legislation passed by the Conserva-
the Education Equality Improvement
                                       tive government. Although the             Doug Hitchcock
Act, and 126,000 teachers left their
                                       battle must continue, the Liberal         ETFO Occupational Health and
schools for two weeks in protest.
                                       government has made some                  Safety Teacher Advisor
     In 1998, I was elected to the
                                       positive changes which demon-             Tel: (905) 890-1010 ext. 2686
position of Second Vice President of
                                       strate increased commitment to            Pager: (416) 370-5927
the Peel Local. During my first year
                                       public education.                         Fax: (905) 890-8893
in the Local office, changes to
                                            It is through continued action
education continued to be made by                                                NOTES
                                       by the Federation and its members
an unsympathetic government. Bill                                                *The expulsion/suspension of a pupil is not
                                       that the battle will be won. After 33
160 was implemented; principals                                                  mandatory if:
                                       years in the profession, it is time for
and vice-principals were removed                                                 (a) the pupil does not have the ability to
                                       me to step aside. I am confident in       control his or her behaviour;
from the federations but occasional
                                       the ability of the leadership and         (b) the pupil does not have the ability to
teachers were added; class size and
                                       members of the Local to carry on          understand the foreseeable consequences
preparation time were regulated in
                                       the fight.                                of his or her behaviour; or
legislation; the province took
                                            It has been an eventful ride,        (c) the pupil’s continuing presence in the
control of funding.                                                              school does not create an unacceptable risk
                                       and I have enjoyed every minute. ÿ
     In 1999, the Tories were re-                                                to the safety of any person.
elected and continued their assault                                              O. Reg. 37/01, s. 2. Reg. 106/01, s. 1.
on the public education system. Bill


28 PEEL PASSAGES
Members are reminded that the delegates at the 2001 Annual Meeting
passed the following motion:

“That ETFO encourage members not to participate in any EQAO marking
exercises.”

Delegates informed the Annual Meeting that the results of these
assessments have been misused to undermine the teaching profession
and denigrate the success of students in Ontario. If teachers participate
in the marking of these assessments, they may be perceived as
condoning and supporting the inappropriate use of assessment results.

EQAO has been granted “provider” status by the Ontario College of
Teachers. The EQAO has applied for accreditation of one or more
marking processes under the Professional Learning Program. Therefore,
by marking, a member would be supporting the government’s
recertification legislation.

The ETFO position Accountability Yes/Recertification No advises members
to avoid taking any professional development from providers accredited
by the Ontario College of Teachers under the Professional Learning
Program.

Members are advised:

•Not to participate in any EQAO marking exercise



September 1, 2003




                                   480 University Avenue, Suite 1000, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1V2
                                         Telephone: 416-962-3836 Toll-free: 1-888-838-3836
                                                      Fax: 416-642-2424 Website: www.etfo.ca
 Your resolve made
   the difference.




 Working together,
anything is possible.

				
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