Ontario public schools will no longer require incoming teachers to pass a basic math proficiency test after finding racial disparities in passage rates.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled Friday the Maths Proficiency Test (MPT) requirement “unconstitutional” after finding that it impaired non-white teacher candidates and that government schools did not do enough to address MPT-related racial inequity.
The MPT was implemented as part of an effort to improve Ontario students’ below-average math scores, according to CBC News.
As bad as your first-impression take on this might be, it’s actually even worse. Read closely: this math proficiency test isn’t for the students, it’s for THE TEACHERS. Your Ontario teacher no longer needs to pass basic math to teach basic math. pic.twitter.com/zuec7zo2yM
— Jeff B. is *BOX OFFICE POISON* (@EsotericCD) December 18, 2021
Schools in Ontario had previously offered candidates the opportunity to retake the test multiple times, but the court ruled that “racialized teacher candidates who have been disproportionately unsuccessful on the MPT should not have to keep retaking the test.”
There is a significant relationship between teachers’ licensure test scores and student achievement, according to evidence brought forward during deliberations. The court’s ruling argued that the benefits of requiring passing scores on MPTs were outweighed by the resulting lack of diversity in teachers.
“Racialized students benefit from being taught by racialized teachers,” the court’s ruling explained.
The case was brought by the Ontario Teacher Candidates’ Council, who claimed that requiring public school teachers to pass the math test was a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The ruling is part of a broader movement to cover up poor educational outcomes by refusing to acknowledge academic failure. Multiple districts in California, the state with the lowest literacy rate in the U.S., have recently opted to end the use of “D” and “F” grades in schools and replace them with “incomplete” scores, Fox 5 San Diego reported.