TORONTO, ON - Oct 20 2016 — The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) has always had serious concerns about the value of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), and Federation representatives were particularly vocal about the pitfalls of moving that test online during consultations with the EQAO Advisory Group in 2014.
Pilot testing that occurred in 2015 revealed clear accessibility issues, as well as potentially serious problems with security and with adequate access to computers. Virtually every pilot test that was undertaken failed. Today’s system crash is a clear indication that those issues have not yet been addressed.
“This high-stakes testing already places an enormous stress on students, and the addition of a system-wide failure to that experience serves only to elevate that stress to an entirely unacceptable level,” said OSSTF/FEESO President Paul Elliott.
“The learning opportunities that have been lost to students in order to prepare for this electronic test, combined with today’s abject failure of the system, should be more than enough to force the Ministry of Education to completely reassess this current testing regime,” concluded Elliott.
OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.