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McGuinty aims for top marks from students

The world might be content with a passing grade, but Ontario has set its sights higher, Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday in defending why a two-year-old target for standardized test scores has not been met.

The world might be content with a passing grade, but Ontario has set its sights higher, Premier Dalton McGuinty said yesterday in defending why a two-year-old target for standardized test scores has not been met.

Figures released by the Education Quality and Accountability Office show 68 per cent of students in Grades 3 and 6 are meeting the standards in reading, writing and math, up from 67 per cent in the previous year.

But that’s still short of the 75 per cent target the governing Liberals wanted to meet for Grade 6 students by 2008.

Speaking at a newly constructed school in Kitchener, McGuinty said that in other parts of the country and the world the standard is simply passing.

In Ontario the standard is a B, or 70 per cent.

“If we said the Ontario standard was going to be a C, or 60 per cent, 93 per cent of Ontario students are meeting that standard right now,” McGuinty said.

McGuinty said his government set its sights on that level so students will be well equipped for post-secondary study.

“We want them to have the tools and the level of proficiency so they can actually graduate from high school and, if they so choose, go on to an apprenticeship, college or university,” he said.