But whether Lorna Earl has been in conflict with her private and public roles or not, watch out for those who will use this to show why province-wide testing should be canned.I agree with what
They will latch on to this, especially as it seems critics such as the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario are getting nowhere telling parents, many of whom support it, that this kind of testing is bad.
When people don't agree with you, you can always try death by character assassination. Hammering away at the integrity of the testing agency -- the Education Quality and Accountability Office -- might be worth a shot.
Is teaching people how to use test data the same as giving them short-cuts to boost their marks? Could Earl have picked up special knowledge at EQAO that could help her at work? Should public sector boards not be allowed to recruit potential directors with expertise in the same field because of conflict of interest worries? These are questions the commissioner might ask.
Even if there's something there, I suspect it's not what (NDP education critic Rosario) Marchese is driving at. If Earl were using her connections to help Ontario boards "get the numbers up" it's hardly worked.
Grade 3 reading results are listless while Grade 6 results still fall short of government improvement promises. But discouraging news, like concerns about conflicts, is no reason to chuck the test. And Earl likely counsels the same.
Or if she was using EQAO dollars to funnel test development and analysis work to her contracting firm without tenders or any similar scrutiny, a la eHealth or OLG.