Dear Mr. Bill Walker MPP,

I am a newly hired teacher with the Bluewater District School Board in my first year of work. To become an accredited teacher, I must pass the newly mandated math proficiency test (MPT). While I recognize that math is an important skill, the MPT does not evaluate my ability to teach math; half the test assesses my ability to pass a multiple-choice test, while the other half tests my knowledge on Ministry of Education documents, Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools – First Edition, Covering Grades 1 to 12 and Learning for All – A Guide to Effective Assessment and Instruction for All Students, Kindergarten to Grade 12. These documents are covered in depth in education program courses and during in-school placements. The money being spent on the MPT could be used for other purposes, like making schools safer or making education cuts less severe.

The Education Quality Assurance Office (EQAO) has suspended student testing, school boards are opting out of the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), which is a graduation requirement, the grade 9 EQAO math assessment is just a field test, yet the Minister of Education is pushing the MPT. The MPT is merely a field test based on the old math curricula and does not reflect the changes to the math content introduced in September 2021. Moreover, this field test determines if I can become a certified teacher in Ontario.

The MPT has only been offered as a field test once, in February of 2020. By the EQAO’s admission, it was hastily prepared. As such, elements of the test suffered tremendously, particularly the translation of the test. While 82% of those who wrote the test in English passed (which in itself is poor), a mere 65% of people who wrote the French version of the MPT passed. This striking difference is indicative of the lack of clarity and accuracy of the translated test. French-speaking teacher candidates (and temporarily accredited teachers) were not treated fairly. The fact that they were given a distinctly inferior product is discriminatory. There is an acute shortage of French First Language and French as a Second Language teachers in this province. The MPT is not improving the quality of math education in this province. It is crippling education in Ontario.

I am asking you to:
1. Ask the Minister of Education to explain the validity of a test.
2. Ask the Minister of Education why French-speaking candidates are being given a substandard translation
3. Ask the Minister of Education why he is proceeding with the MPT despite canceling or modifying EQAO standardized testing in Ontario for 2021.
4. Ask the Minister of Education why the MPT remains a requirement for certification for 2020 graduates, who came into a program when no such requirement existed and have been professionally teaching for the past year, noting that access to the 2020 MPT was severely limited and many candidates were not offered the test.


Ridgley Dier