Ontario’s Growing Education Gap

by Arcanum Academy | Jun 30, 2019 | Stats

The 2019 EQAO results are about to come out in August, but judging by the trend of the last few years, students in Ontario have been doing worse and worse with every passing year.

Take a look at any grade, language or mathematics, and one inevitably arrives at the conclusion that either the EQAO test has been getting progressively more difficult, or the quality of education in the province has been slipping.

Many critics of the EQAO and the OSSLT claim that the rigid standardized test format is a poor gauge of aptitude for our primary and secondary students. These claims would be easier to take seriously if it were not for studies like the “Academic Skill Deficiencies in four Ontario universities”shedding light on just how poorly Ontario students are prepared for post-secondary education. To quote directly from the study: “only 44% of survey participants could be classified as functionally prepared to do well in their university studies. An almost equal percentage (41%) were identified as at-risk. The remaining 16% were classed as dysfunctional”

In a world that will eminently mechanize and shed its uneducated workforce, preparing young people for gainful employment has never been more paramount.

Unfortunately, with the recent cuts and changes to public education in the province, teachers have even fewer resources to ensure no student is left behind when it comes to the acquisition of knowledge.

Growing class sizes, mandatory online courses, rolling back extracurricular offerings, and other changes widen the gap between public and private school systems in the province. The result—Ontario is creating a two-tier system of education for its future workforce.

In a province where university admissions are determined solely on the basis of grade point averages, private school students have a significant advantage over their less affluent peers.

Students whose families are able to afford private school education benefit from individualized support in small classes, teachers who provide afterschool tutorials, modern facilities offering streamlined learning, additional one-on-one support outside the classroom, the expertise of a university admissions consultant to put together the most impressive application possible, and often a diminished level of difficulty to ensure they graduate with competitive grades. Students in public schools get none of that.