An Interesting Statistic

           Toronto District School Board states on its web site that 45% of its graduates are Ontario Scholars.  To be an Ontario Scholar, a student must have an average of 80% on her top six subjects.  The question is: should this be a cause for pride or embarrassment?

Yup, 45% are Ontario Scholars, but can you tell the difference?

Yup, 45% are Ontario Scholars, but can you tell the difference?

            A second question: when the averages of Ontario Scholars were heavily influenced by the results of the provincial exams, there were fewer Ontario Scholars.  Why the change? 

             Third question:  How do we know that each board is providing equally thorough educations in all the subjects offered and applying the same standards in formative and summative evaluations?

              I would love to hear from the high school teachers on this topic.  I am sure you have well supported opinions on this.

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4 responses to “An Interesting Statistic

  1. So… does this refer to grade 12 only? Because in some circles nobody takes anything they are bad at by grade 12. I know they made it more difficult to drop everything as early, but by your last year can’t you drop anything but english? I know I did not take math (any kind), french, any 2nd language, science, gym, music, computers, etc. after grade ten. So my OACs were maybe 3 englishes, plus art, poli sci, philosophy… hardly a real high school education. I guess at Lisgar “English”, “Writer’s Craft”, and “Literature” can be your top 3 subjects? Or are those all 1? I’m not sure.

  2. That’s my understanding. I would think that even assuming everyone is taking their best subjects, it is rather startling that 45% of graduating students are achieving excellence on average in their top six subjects.
    I do know that a certain TA in a 3rd year biology course was horrified at the poor use of language, fact and logic in the labs she was marking. It is not unusual for university students to be surprised by their low marks, unaccustomed as they are to getting 50%

  3. On the other hand, given that elementary report cards do not allow for a mark lower than 40% and teachers are punished for giving a mark that low (they are required to create a plan stating what they will do to improve the student’s mark – I know it is not intended as a punishment, but believe me, any extra work in a teacher’s already heavy work load feels like a punishment), it takes a brave and foolhardy teacher to give marks lower than 60%.

  4. Yeah, I remember the year we all got Cs in music, even though some of us didn’t take our instruments out of the cases ever, we just sat in the practice rooms and talked. Word was the teacher had cruise tickets booked and didn’t want the mandatory parent-teacher conferences that came with a D or lower.

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