Ontario’s Math Crises
Ontario has a math problem and its serious. According to the Huffingtonpost, for the past two years, the number of students who met the provincial standards on their Grade 6 EQAO’s has been below 50%. The provincial standard is a B grade or higher (70%).
What’s scarier is while more students score higher in their reading and writing strands, the math strand scores have been stagnant.
These results have prompted many parents to ask questions about the legitimacy of Ontario’s K-12 math curriculum. Many are wondering if the curriculum is flawed or if Ontario’s math teachers are simply ineffective. Or perhaps the reason behind falling math scores is more culturally relevant to the environment of generation X, Y, and Z. This generation has been plagued by hyperactive environments and many young students are finding it increasingly difficult to learn Math in its traditional “boring” context.
Ontario needs to do better. While math scores have been improving in other provinces, in Ontario, they have been declining. Some of the core reasons why students are becoming weaker and weaker in mathematics is because Ontario’s math curriculum is failing to develop math fundamentals. Many students learn discovery-based techniques that overlook teaching student algorithms and instead focus on teaching “strategies to find solutions.” In other words, they stopped teaching kids their multiplication tables, or those fundamental math techniques that made basic numeracy easier, faster, and more automatic.
Math scores have been slightly improving amongst grade 3 students, wherein last year’s EQAO 62% of a student’s met the provincial standard of 70% or higher. However, this was only a one percent increase from the last year. While these may be positive facts, the future seems really grim for Ontario’s students in their math education training. We are in a crisis.