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Government Heeds College Advice on Teacher Qualifying Test

April 23 2002

April 23, 2002 (Toronto) The Ontario College of Teachers is pleased with the governments decision not to count the results of the qualifying test for new teachers this year.

The College held a news conference on March 19 with the Ontario Association of Deans of Education and the OISE/UT student teacher union to request publicly that this years test be used only for validation purposes and to highlight implementation problems.

The College also expressed grave concerns at the time that the test would apply to teachers who are currently teaching in Ontario classrooms with an interim teaching licence. The government has since lifted the requirement for teachers certified before March 15 this year.

"Were pleased that the government has listened to our advice," said Ontario College of Teachers Registrar Joe Atkinson. "The College recommended that Ontario should have a test for entry to the profession. However, we feel very strongly that the implementation was rushed, leading to inequities and uncertainty at a time when the province is coping with a severe teacher shortage.

"Todays decision will allow for a more rigorous validation of the test by its developers. The College was concerned that the passing scores had yet to be determined, which could have led to difficulties and inequities in interpreting the results. We look forward to meeting with the Minister to discuss implementation of this test next year and a number of other issues.

Students will know in the future how to prepare for the test and what is expected of them. The government will learn what it needs to know from the test that is, that new teachers in Ontario are competent, that they know the curriculum and that they are well prepared for Ontario classrooms."

The College recommended an entry to the profession test for the profession as part of its advice to the government on teacher testing in April 2000. A number of professions in Ontario, including lawyers and doctors and chartered accountants, have a similar requirement.

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For more information:
Denys Gigure
Media Relations Officer
416-961-8800, ext. 221
1-888-534-2222, ext. 221

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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