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Developing “Complete, Accurate and Reliable” Advice on Teacher Testing

Almost as soon as the government’s plans for teacher testing were first made public April 19, 1999, College staff began assembling information that would form the base for developing a well-researched perspective on teacher testing.

Through the ensuing months, the College contacted 29 self-regulatory bodies in Ontario asking for information on what testing and re-certification practices they follow and what tools they use to ensure competence among their members.

The College thoroughly reviewed current or recent initiatives in United States, England, Wales, Scotland, France, Australia and New Zealand and in the provinces of Alberta and Quebec to address the issue of teacher competency.

College staff also focused their research on the relationship between teacher testing and quality education.

The Minister made an official request to the College to prepare advice on a teacher testing program in a letter dated November 10, 1999. For the first time the government described the parameters of such a program – the regular assessment of teachers’ knowledge, skills and methodologies linked to re-certification, remediation for those deemed to have failed their assessment, and possible de-certification if remediation failed.

The College Council immediately set up an ad hoc committee headed by Council Chair Donna Marie Kennedy. In the College’s reply to the Minister’s request, the Chair promised to provide “complete, accurate and reliable” advice the week of April 10, 2000.

During December and January, all the materials the College had collected during the course of its research on teacher testing were held in the College Library and were made available to the stakeholder organizations and to Ministry of Education policy staff.

During the ensuing weeks, the ad hoc committee prepared a consultation document incorporating the research on teacher testing, describing the Ontario context and presenting a wide range of options emerging from the research that might form the basis of the College’s advice to the Minister. The 22 options addressed the five parameters laid out in the Minister’s November 10 letter.

The first draft of the 100-page consultation document was delivered to a special meeting of the College Council by February 9 in time for the three-week consultation period held February 14 to March 3, 2000.

English and French-language versions of A Consultation Paper: Formulating a Response to the Letter of November 10, 1999 from the Minister of Education re a Teacher Testing Progam were posted on the College’s web site with an invitation to College members and the public to respond.

As part of the consultation, the College hosted a series of structured sessions with stakeholder groups. The groups included those that had received a copy of the Minister’s letter of November 10, 1999 plus seven more that the College had added to ensure the widest possible input on the issue.

The Council is collating the material from the structured consultation and from other responses to the consultation paper to formulate the College’s advice to the Minister on teacher testing. The final report will be delivered to the Minister during the week of April 10, 2000.

The College’s advice to the Minister on teacher testing will be posted on the College web site at in mid-April.

Organizations Involved in the Consultation Process

The College is including in its consultation all the stakeholder groups that received the Minister’s letter on teacher testing.

Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario
Association des agentes et agents de supervision franco-ontariens
Association des conseillères et des conseillers des écoles publiques de l’Ontario
Association des directions et des directions adjointes franco-ontariennes
Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques
Association interculturelle franco-ontarienne
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Toronto
Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Council of Ontario Directors of Education
Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario
Education Improvement Commission
Education Quality and Accountability Office
Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne
Minister’s Advisory Council on Special Education
Ontario Association of Deans in Education
Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education
Ontario Association of School Business Officials
Ontario Catholic School Business Officials’ Association
Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association
Ontario Catholic Student Council Federation
Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Ontario Coalition for Education Reform
Ontario Federation of Home and School Associations
Ontario Parent Council
Ontario Principals’ Council
Ontario Public School Board Association
Ontario Public Supervisory Officials’ Association
Ontario Secondary School Students’ Association
Ontario Teachers’ Federation
Organization for Quality Education
People for Education
Parent Network Ontario
Parents partenaires en éducation
Teachers for Excellence

In addition to the Minister’s list, the College has added these organizations to its consultation on teacher testing:

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens
Independent School Association of Ontario
Institute of Catholic Education
Ontario Education Alliance
Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation