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SNOBELEN TABLES LEGISLATION TO CREATE TEACHERS COLLEGE AND ENABLE PROVINCE-WIDE STUDENT TESTING

December 14 1995

December 14, 1995

TORONTO Education and Training Minister John Snobelen introduced legislation today that will respond to the public's demand for closer scrutiny and greater accountability in education. The minister introduced separate bills to establish the Ontario College of Teachers, and also to enable comprehensive province-wide student testing through an Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).

"With these two initiatives, we're strengthening our commitment to excellence in teaching and learning," said Mr. Snobelen. "The work of the College and of the EQAO will help improve accountability and reinforce confidence in our education system."

The Ontario College of Teachers, a self-funding, self-regulating body, will set out clear standards of practice for teachers, ensure sound professional learning goals, and will coordinate and monitor career-long professional development. Membership in the College will be mandatory for anyone employed in English or French-language publicly funded schools whose job requires teaching qualifications. Those already holding qualifications will automatically be considered members of the College. It is expected that a 31-member governing council of the College will be in place by the end of 1996.

The Education Quality and Accountability Office, which will operate at arm's length from the government, will develop and conduct a comprehensive testing program for Ontario English and French-language schools. In the 1996-97 school year, it will conduct the first annual test of all Grade 3 students in reading, writing and mathematics, along with a sampling of students in Grade 6 or 9. As part of its mandate, the EQAO will conduct quality reviews, publish performance indicators and report annually to the public. The EQAO will have seven to nine board members.

"Parents and taxpayers should be able to clearly see what we're doing in education, how we're doing it and what results we're getting," added Mr. Snobelen. "Through the College of Teachers, the public will know what professional standards to expect from teachers and how they are conducting their own education. Similarly, testing will give us valuable, accurate and credible information on how students are performing in schools."

The bill tabled today responds to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Learning and the Commitments made by the Ontario government in the Common Sense Revolution.

101 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON, M5S 0A1, P: 416.961.8800 / Toll Free (Ontario Only): 1.888.534.2222 / F: 416.961.8822 / info@oct.ca

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