Ford government reveals details of four-year math strategy

Grade 6 classroom at St. John Vianney School, September 21, 2016. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Just as the kids are getting ready to head back to school, the Ford government has released details of its $200 million math strategy.

“As the recently-released EQAO results confirm, our students are still struggling to meet provincial math standards,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce.

Starting this school year, his ministry will spend $55 million to support programming and resources for both students and teachers. The money will help hire educators with expertise in math, provide training in more than 700 schools, expand online tutoring programs, and ensure new teachers have the skills to teach math.

Of that spend, $6 million will support summer learning programs, so students do not lose their skills and $4 million to subsidize math courses for teachers.

There are reports new teachers will have to score at least 70 per cent on a test that could be in place by the end of the academic school year.

A release from the Ford government said math results have declined in recent years for Grades 3 and 6 students, while Grade 9 applied math students suggest a lack of the skill needed to succeed.

“We will never accept the status quo. We are demanding better for our kids,” continued Lecce.

Reacting to the release of the latest EQAO results, NDP Education Critic Marit Stiles said her party would end EQAO testing.

“If you want students to do better in math, don’t fire the math teachers,” said Stiles. “The cuts in schools are hurting student learning, and the deeper Ford cuts on the way will only make things worse. The only thing Doug Ford has expanded in education is the paycheque of the EQAO chair.”

A total of $200-million will be spent over four years as the government rolls out a revised math curriculum focused on the fundamentals and how to apply them.