# Ontario seeks to challenge court ruling striking down new teachers' mandatory math test

The Ford government is suggesting that the court made legal errors in that decision, including using too low of a threshold to determine discrimination

### 14 comments

Interesting:

Teachers’ unions objected to the test being applied broadly to all

teachers, **questioning why a kindergarten teacher needed to be tested on****secondary school math concepts or why an art teacher needed to pass a****math test.**

Can we test Douggie if he can count from 1 to 50? Or knows how to run a province?

Test is super easy. Teacher’s union is just using the guise of racism as a pushback against the province passive aggressively as payback for their multiple ongoing grievances.

Quite the shameless tactic actually. As a minority myself I take great offence to this type of bullshit. Don’t want to do the test, fine. But don’t imply minorities can’t pass this, make up another excuse.

So, I came upon a few seemingly good critiques of the test, that approach things from some different angles.

Effectively, they contend the Province hasn't very convincingly demonstrated that

Student math proficiency is a huge issue.

Non-math teacher math proficiency is a huge issue driving student proficiency

That the MPT will do anything to positively impact either.

The province might not have actually done a terribly good job of establishing the burning platform that math proficiency among students is that huge of a problem:

"The Premier, and others who suggest that Ontario’s students are struggling with math, almost always point towards grade 6 EQAO scores." (ie: that only 48% of grade 6 students in Ontario met the provincial math standard in 2019 vs 61% in 2009)

However, it seems that if you continue looking at EQAO scores, you will discover that 84% of academic grade 9 students met the provincial standards.

Meanwhile, Ontario still ranks second in math in the country according to the latest PISA scores.

- They also might have drastically exaggerated the degree to which teachers currently get below 70% on the grade 6 exam. Apparently, the provinces numbers come from:

"According to the Ottawa Citizen, Ford’s claim is likely a reference to a story in the Globe and Mail about a third of university students training to be teachers at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) scoring below 70% on a grade 6 EQAO test during orientation week...It is misleading and malicious for the Premier to claim that a third of Ontario teachers in classrooms fail grade 6 math based on the performance of a small group of students starting teacher training at one university in the province."

- There seems to be some opinion that putting the teachers through the test will do little to actually improve much of anything to improve math scores, and might mainly deprive students of good teachers for other subjects:

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO - the organization that administers the MPT) found that “the fundamental goal of [compulsory teacher] tests — to improve student learning — is often not met”

And

"The body of evidence examining the connection among standardized teacher competency testing on both pure content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge and student outcomes is mixed."

- I've read that the section that trips up most non-math trained teachers is actually the pedagogy section, not the mathematical knowledge component.

"..the pedagogy section of the test is quite exasperating. Based on the practice test released by the EQAO, some questions in the section ask specifically about the math curriculum document. So, a prospective grade 12 history teacher will now need to study the grade 1–3 math curriculum despite not teaching math and not teaching primary students. In this case and many others, the MPT will do absolutely nothing to improve student achievement and will instead reduce the supply of qualified teachers.

https://medium.com/youth-political-assembly/opinion-ontarios-math-proficiency-test-for-new-teacher-applicants-must-be-scrapped-2e933416393

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-review-shows-testing-teachers-has-little-impact-on-student-performance/

https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/colgan-ontarios-math-proficiency-exam-doesnt-pass-the-logic-test

https://educationactiontoronto.com/articles/the-math-proficiency-test-a-solution-looking-for-a-problem/

Edit: trouble with some of the numbering.

Ontario’s Divisional Court last month struck down the math proficiency test as infringing equality provisions in the charter because it found the test had a disproportionate impact on racialized teachers.

Mathematics ability is not predicated on race.

Anyone interested in seeing an example test, here you go: https://mathproficiencytest.ca/#/en/applicant/learn/prepare:sample_questions

It’s not really that hard.

I dont understand why they cant just take the fucking test. I do think teachers should have basic high school competence. I don't buy the racism argument.

If they really want to help students learn math, get more STEM majors into teaching. Get the people that are good at math in the profession and then focus on was to improve their teaching ability to maximum their knowledge

I wonder how many people demanding that teachers take this tests, and that politicians who handle billions of dollars of tax money are exempt, could pass it themselves.

This is virtue signalling to a pathetic degree.

Ayo lmao why are new teachers so pressed they have to know math. It’s not like math is hard.

Everybody needs math. It’s as simply as that. Do not care what you teach or how much you think you use. Estimation, time management, organization, finances, and yes even art requires math…

I’d like to see Doug ford write those tests tbh

What blows my mind any time teachers come up is the people who allege that teachers are overpaid, underworked, union protected lazy folk.

IF TEACHING IS SO FINANCIALLY REWARDING, STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT IT AND BECOME A TEACHER.

Some people are so dumb. Teaching sucks. It's essentially a passion project. We could be investing in the future but instead these kids will have to deal with a quickly deteriorating environment and a failing school and health system. Why are we so bad at taking care of each other?

For a student not to understand basic math and arithmetic at an early age will set them back academically by at least a year or two and hamper their education for the rest of their lives. There is no excuse for a teacher not being up to speed on it and not being able to teach it proficiently.

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