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Mandatory math proficiency test for OCT certification update

Math lab and school class. Science, education, mathematics scene with miniature people, students. Isometric vector concept design

Original Update post—September 30, 2019

The Ministry Memo announcing updates regarding the mandatory Math Proficiency Test (MPT) for teachers certified after March 31, 2020, was issued on April 29, 2021. The memo’s content will impact any OSSTF/FEESO member who graduated after March 31, 2020, if they have not already successfully completed the test.

Ministry Memo details:
Starting May 3, 2021, teachers who hold a General Certificate of Qualification and Registration with a condition to complete the MPT, a Temporary Certificate of Qualification and Registration, a Transitional Certificate of Qualification and Registration and applicants to the OCT can book a test session on the MPT website. Online test sessions will be available starting May 10, 2021, and in person test sessions will only be available after the province-wide Stay-at-Home order is lifted. After completing their test, individuals will receive their results within 10 business days. If required, individuals can book another test session once their results are received. There is no limit to the number of attempts. This ensures individuals have multiple opportunities to write the test before the deadline of August 31, 2021. To help individuals prepare for the MPT, a practice test, blueprint and other resources are available.

OSSTF/FEESO has opposed this test since it was first conceived: it does nothing to improve students’ EQAO math test scores, its primary goal.  Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) and affiliate concerns around the introduction and implementation of a mandatory, high-stakes math proficiency test for Ontario College of Teachers certification include:

  • Ontario students do not have an achievement in math problem;
  • There is little empirical evidence that standardized teacher tests have a positive correlation to teaching effectiveness or student achievement; and
  • Any math proficiency assessment should be an integral part of their teacher education program, with opportunities for support as needed.

After August 31, 2021, members who have not successfully passed the MPT could lose their ability to teach in Ontario and would need to keep making subsequent attempts on the test—at a cost.

As expected, the Ontario Teacher Candidates’ Council (OTCC) is already reporting issues with the registration process, from no test dates scheduled in August to limits on what hardware test takers are permitted to use. The OTCC was formed as a reaction to the MPT and quickly initiated a legal challenge regarding the test. OSSTF/FEESO has supported this legal challenge through ongoing communication and financial assistance.

OSSTF/FEESO encourages members who have issues registering or taking the test to share that information through their local leaders to aid in our pushback against all aspects of the MPT. We are also reminding presidents that members should not be writing the test voluntarily if they are already fully certified.

Any questions about this article, or examples of the tests’ mismanagement, may be directed to Peter Bates at Provincial Office.

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