Premier Congratulates Students On Higher Literacy Test Scores
"We're clearly moving in the right direction, together," says Premier McGuinty
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today congratulated Grade 10 students, their schools and families on significantly higher test scores in reading and writing.
"Students and parents, teachers and school boards deserve to be congratulated for the work they've done to improve these results," said Premier McGuinty.
"We're proud of the role we're playing as a government, motivating the system and providing the needed resources. Together, we're making real progress."
According to the 2004-2005 Grade 10 literacy test scores released today:
- The percentage of English-language students passing the test increased from 77 per cent in October 2003 to 82 per cent in October 2004.
- The percentage of applied students passing went from 49 per cent in October 2003 to 62 per cent in October 2004 -- a 27 per cent increase.
- The percentage of boys passing went from 73 per cent to 79 per cent, while the percentage of girls passing went from 80 per cent to 86 per cent.
"Together, we're clearly moving in the right direction," said Premier McGuinty, "But there's more work to do."
To underscore that point, Premier McGuinty spoke today to approximately 3,000 boys from grade schools across Toronto at a Read to Succeed Conference organized by the Toronto and District School Board.
"Read what interests you. Read what you want to read. Read on your own, with your mom or dad, with your grandparents or with your friends. But read every day," Premier McGuinty told the students.
"It's the best way to learn and have fun. And it's the best way to ensure you succeed -- and our province succeeds -- in the future."
Statistics show boys are more likely than girls to drop out of high school and less likely to attend university. Boys also do not do as well as girls on the literacy test.
The province has a number of initiatives underway to tackle the situation:
- A new 59-page booklet entitled Me Read? No Way! -- A Practical Guide To Improving Boys' Literacy Skills has been provided to all elementary and secondary schools across Ontario.
- Increased investments for struggling students are helping close the gap in achievement.
Closing the gap between boys and girls when it comes to reading and writing is one of the initiatives the government has tackled, along with families and educators, as part of its drive to help students succeed, stay in school, and keep learning beyond high school.
In addition, there are now smaller class sizes in the early grades, more teachers, and increased funding for English-as-a-second-language instruction.
A literacy and numeracy secretariat is working with boards, teachers and principals to ensure every child can read, write and do math at a high level by age 12, as the government strives to reach the goal of ensuring that 75 per cent of students reach the provincial standard in literacy and numeracy by 2008.
"Building a well-educated and highly skilled workforce is the most important thing we can do to ensure our future prosperity," Premier McGuinty said. "Helping our students succeed is the most important thing we can do to help them achieve their full potential."