2014–2015 ANNUAL REPORT

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annual-report-2014-2015

2014–2015 ANNUAL REPORT


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EQAO’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dave Cooke,

Chair

June 25, 2008–March 10, 2018

Roland Boudreau

June 2, 2011–June 1, 2017

Hélène Chayer,

Vice-Chair

June 25, 2008–June 11, 2016

Dr. Elizabeth (Lee) Ford-Jones

June 2, 2011–June 1, 2017

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

Bruce Rodrigues,

EQAO Chief Executive Officer

July 1, 2013–June 30, 2016

Dr. Dieudonné Detchou

January 13, 2010–May 7, 2015

Dr. Bette M. Stephenson, Director Emeritus

Abirami Jeyaratnam

October 3, 2012–October 2, 2017

Dr. Pamela Toulouse

October 22, 2014–October 21, 2017

B

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Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

2014–2015

ANNUAL REPORT

Education Quality and Accountability Office

2 Carlton Street, Suite 1200, Toronto ON M5B 2M9

Telephone: 1-888-327-7377 I Web site: www.eqao.com

Canr_ne_0615

© 2015 Queen’s Printer for Ontario

ISBN 978-1-4606-5992-2 (Online)

ISSN 1481-2770 (Online)


Dave Cooke,

Chair

Bruce Rodrigues,

EQAO Chief Executive Officer

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR AND THE CEO

The 2014–2015 fiscal year has been one of transformational change, modernization and planning

for EQAO’s future. Among the most exciting changes has been the introduction of “EQAO

Online,” our multi-year project that will move provincial assessments from paper to computer.

Technology has opened up exciting new opportunities for student learning and assessment, and

we at EQAO are committed to keeping Ontario’s provincial assessment program in step with the

increasingly digital classroom and world in which our students live.

As we undertake this move to online assessments, we are guided by the principles of benefit,

quality, partnership and transparency. We have formed many partnerships and are in continuous

consultation with groups throughout the education system to ensure the smoothest possible

transition. We extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to all those who are taking this

journey with us for the benefit of Ontario’s students.

In addition to the enhancements to assessment administration, we are modernizing other aspects

of EQAO’s program. We are leveraging technology to bring about improvement in the creation

and scoring of the assessments and in all of our business operations.

This year has also been an important one for charting the future direction of the agency. Much

work and attention has been dedicated to establishing a new strategic plan for the next three to

five years. Throughout the year, we’ve conducted surveys, consultation sessions and meetings

with stakeholders right across the province to hear their thoughts and priorities. Once established,

the new plan will determine EQAO’s priorities and guide our objectives and activities over the

next few years.


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Change often comes in the form of new personnel, and this year EQAO’s board of directors

wished a fond farewell and a warm welcome to some key members. We wish to express our

sincere appreciation to outgoing chair Dr. Brian L. Desbiens and vice-chair Jerry Ponikvar for their

years of service, their steadfast leadership and their expert stewardship. Their contributions to

the success of this agency and the legacy they leave behind cannot be overstated. We are also

delighted to welcome Dr. Pamela Toulouse to the board. Her vast knowledge of and experience in

the education sector and Aboriginal communities brings an important and valued perspective.

We are pleased to present this annual report, which highlights many of the activities and

accomplishments of the past year. These are momentous times in Ontario’s public education

system—times of great change and development. Whatever the future holds, honest and

transparent information about how our students are faring will remain vital to the system’s

continuous progress. EQAO remains committed to playing a leadership role in related efforts.

Dave Cooke, Chair

Bruce Rodrigues, CEO


CONTENTS

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

2 I About EQAO

3 I Strategic Priorities

4 I “Best of Class” Assessments

8 I Supporting Student Progress

11 I Building Capacity

15 I Valuable Research Data

18 I Effective Business Practices

20 I Financial Statements


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ABOUT EQAO

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EQAO’s tests measure student achievement in reading, writing and mathematics in

relation to Ontario Curriculum expectations. The resulting data provide accountability

and a gauge of quality in Ontario’s publicly funded education system. By providing this

important evidence about learning, EQAO acts as a catalyst for increasing the success of

Ontario students.

The objective and reliable results from EQAO’s tests complement the information obtained from

classroom and other assessments to provide students, parents, teachers and administrators with

a clear and comprehensive picture of student achievement and a basis for targeted improvement

planning at the individual, school, school board and provincial levels. EQAO helps build capacity for the

appropriate use of data by providing resources that educators, parents, policy-makers and others in the

education community can use to improve learning and teaching. EQAO distributes an individual report to

each student who writes a test, and posts school, school board and provincial results on its Web site.

VALUES

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

EQAO values giving all students the opportunity to reach their highest possible level of achievement.

EQAO values its role as a service to educators, parents, students, government and the public in support of

teaching and learning in the classroom.

EQAO values credible evidence that informs professional practice and focuses attention on interventions that

improve student success.

EQAO values research that informs large-scale assessment and classroom practice.

EQAO values the dedication and expertise of Ontario’s educators, their involvement in all aspects of the

assessment process and the positive difference their efforts make in student outcomes.

EQAO values the delivery of its programs and services with equivalent quality in both English and French.


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Strategic Priorities

“Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices


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Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

“Best of Class”

Assessments

EQAO is committed to

providing credible evidence of

student learning based on

The Ontario Curriculum.

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

The agency’s full-census assessment program provides one important gauge of the quality of

the education system in Ontario. It contributes to the system’s accountability to the parents who

entrust our schools with their children’s education and to the taxpayers who finance it. One of

EQAO’s main priorities is therefore to uphold the quality and reliability of Ontario’s large-scale

assessments, which are linked directly to the learning expectations of The Ontario Curriculum. To

maintain its “best of class” assessments, EQAO continually examines its assessment model in

order to ensure that it remains relevant, effective and appropriate for Ontario.

When reviewing its assessment development processes, EQAO uses a variety of quality

assurance measures. EQAO works collaboratively with an independent Psychometric Expert

Panel, which met twice this year, to examine all aspects of its assessment program. The members

of the panel are recognized national and international experts in large-scale assessment.


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

As part of its commitment to ensuring high-quality curriculumbased

assessments, EQAO has Ontario educators write

all assessment items according to specific curriculum

expectations. An Assessment Development Committee, made

up of teachers, school administrators, subject-matter experts

and educational consultants, then verifies that all items are

grade and curriculum appropriate. All assessments are also

reviewed by an external Sensitivity Committee, comprising

eight to 10 Ontario educators, who provide expert advice from

a specialized equity perspective to ensure that the assessment

materials are fair for a wide range of students. In all, EQAO

collaborated with 183 Ontario education professionals through

these committees this year.

EQAO assigns quality assurance monitors to visit a random

sample of schools during assessment administration. During

these visits, the monitors observe and gather information about

the consistency of the assessment administration. Information

collected through this process assists EQAO in monitoring

compliance with its administrative guidelines and helps the

agency refine procedures for future assessments. Over the

course of three years, all school boards in the province are

monitored in this way. During this fiscal year, monitors observed

a total of 285 administrations of the primary, junior and Grade 9

assessments and the OSSLT.

In addition to the provincial assessments, EQAO coordinates

Ontario’s participation in national and international

assessments on behalf of the Government of Ontario. These

assessments provide evidence of how students in Ontario are

performing in relation to their national and international peers.

In 2013, EQAO administered the International Computer and

Information Literacy Study (ICILS), and results were reported in

November 2014. ICILS is a first of its kind, a computer-based

assessment that tests Grade 8 students’ computer information

literacy skills. In 2013, 20 countries participated in ICILS. In

Ontario, approximately 3700 students from nearly 200 schools

participated. Ontario students’ performance on ICILS 2013 was

significantly above the international average. No participating

jurisdiction’s students performed better than Ontario’s on

ICILS 2013.

In 2013, Ontario students also participated in the Pan-

Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP). This national

assessment program is undertaken every three years to

measure the achievement of Canadian Grade 8 students in

three domains: reading, mathematics and science. In 2013, all

10 provinces participated and science was the major domain.

Results of PCAP 2013 were reported in October 2014 and

revealed that Ontario students are generally performing well

in all three domains. Indeed, Ontario was the only jurisdiction

whose students achieved at or above the Canadian average

in all three domains. In science, 94% of Ontario Grade 8

students achieved the expected level of performance. It is also

noteworthy that Ontario was the only jurisdiction with results

above the Canadian average in reading. In math, Ontario

students’ results were second only to Quebec. PCAP results

over time show that Ontario students are consistently among

the top performing students in Canada.

“Best of Class” Assessments I 5


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Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

EQAO ONLINE

“EQAO Online” is a multi-year project to move EQAO’s provincial student assessments from

paper-and-pencil to computers. The project was launched in September 2014 to bring the

provincial assessments in line with the digital world we live in and the digital classroom that is an

increasingly important part of a modern education. EQAO is committed to ensuring the move to

online assessments is made with the same rigour and technical quality with which EQAO does all

of its work. The move to online assessments will happen gradually, and the OSSLT will be the first

EQAO assessment offered online.

The 2014–2015 school year has been one of consultation, research, analyses, pilot tests and trial

runs. In November 2015, Grade 10 students will have a voluntary opportunity to write the OSSLT

online. To prepare for this, EQAO administered field tests to Grade 10 students in November

2014 and February 2015. In total, over 10 000 students from more than 100 schools in 59 school

boards participated in the field tests. These field tests were conducted to ensure the quality of

the online assessment before it goes live. They also served as tests of the system through which

the assessment will be administered and were opportunities to collect feedback from students

and school staff about their experience. Student feedback regarding the field tests was generally

positive, with 82% of students tested in November and 80% tested in February responding

that they “liked” or “somewhat liked” taking the test online. Furthermore, the February field test

allowed EQAO to conduct a study analyzing whether students perform differently on a given test

item on paper or on a computer. The results will be published once the study is completed.


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity


The transition to a new method of delivery for the EQAO assessment

will produce high-quality results that will continue to meet the needs


of the assessment program and the Ontario education system.

Dr. Mark Reckase, University professor emeritus of measurement and quantitative methods

at Michigan State University and a member of EQAO’s Psychometric Expert Panel

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Two voluntary online trials, open to all Grade 9 students in the

province, were administered in spring 2015. These students

will be the first to have the opportunity to write the OSSLT

online when they move to Grade 10 for the 2015–2016 school

year. In total, more than 26 000 students from 372 schools and

62 school boards participated in the online trials. These trials

provided current Grade 9 students some experience with the

online assessment system—an important element of fair

testing practices.

In January 2015, Mark Reckase, Ph.D., published an expert

opinion article praising EQAO’s move to online assessment.

Dr. Reckase is a distinguished university professor emeritus

of measurement and quantitative methods at Michigan State

University and a member of EQAO’s Psychometric Expert

Panel. In the article, Dr. Reckase writes that “EQAO has

developed a thoughtful and thorough process for performing

the investigations necessary to ensure that the presentation

of the provincial assessments on computers is fair to all

students.” He further expresses his confidence in EQAO’s

transition, stating that “the transition to a new method of

delivery for the EQAO assessment will produce high-quality

results that will continue to meet the needs of the assessment

program and the Ontario education system.”

“Best of Class” Assessments I 7


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Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Supporting

Student Progress

EQAO is committed to integrating

a broad range of evidence that

identifies where interventions can

be made to ensure that all

students have the opportunity to

reach their highest possible level

of achievement.

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

In order to improve educational programs and student achievement, performance must be

evaluated according to credible evidence. EQAO assessments are one source of reliable

information that is comparable from school to school and board to board across the province.

Furthermore, by making its results publicly available, EQAO is able to bring attention to areas

that need improvement, as was demonstrated again with the release of the 2014 provincial

assessment results.


SECONDARY SCHOOLS

GRADE 9 ASSESSMENT OF MATHEMATICS

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Reading

Writing

Mathematics

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

GRADE 3 GRADE 6

70 %

79 %

78 % 78 %

67 % 54 %

Percentage of students who met the provincial

standard in 2014

In 2014, results indicated that literacy rates in Ontario

elementary schools have continued to improve with each

passing year. Student achievement in reading rose again;

70% of Grade 3 students and 79% of Grade 6 students are

now meeting the provincial reading standard, an increase

of eight percentage points and seven percentage points,

respectively, over the past five years.

Achievement in writing has also continued to rise; 78%

of students in both Grade 3 and Grade 6 have reached the

expected level in writing. This represents an eight-percentagepoint

increase over the past five years for students in

both grades.

Provincial assessments have shown, however,

that the same kind of progress has not been

seen in mathematics. In fact, only 67% of

Grade 3 students and 54% in Grade 6

met the standard in 2014, a decrease

of four percentage points and seven

percentage points, respectively, since

2010. These results are of particular

significance given that EQAO analyses

have consistently shown that students

who do not meet the provincial

standard early in their schooling—

that is, in either Grade 3 or Grade 6, or

both—are much more likely to carry those

difficulties into Grade 9.

Academic Course

85 %

Applied Course

Percentage of students who met the provincial

standard in 2014

ONTARIO SECONDARY SCHOOL LITERACY TEST (OSSLT)

83 % 47 %

Percentage of first-time eligible

students who were successful in 2014

In secondary schools, math success rates have been improving

steadily for the past five years for students in both academic

and applied courses. Of students enrolled in the academic

math course, 85% met the provincial standard this year, a

three-percentage-point increase over the past five years.

Of students enrolled in the applied math course, 47% met

the provincial standard this year, a seven-percentage-point

increase over the past five years.

On the 2014 OSSLT, 83% of first-time eligible students were

successful. OSSLT scores have been relatively stable over

the past five years, with a slight decrease of one percentage

point since 2010. While 94% of fully participating students in

the academic English course were successful, only 50% of

fully participating students in the applied English course were.

Because student success rates in math and those in applied

English courses in secondary school remain persistently low,

EQAO has recommended that a review of the intent of these

courses be undertaken, including a consideration of how they

might better support student achievement.

Unless otherwise noted, the results contained in this report apply to students and schools

in Ontario’s English-language system. Results for Ontario’s French-language system can be

found in the French version of this report.

Supporting Student Progress I 9


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Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

EQAO is pleased to recognize numerous system-level

Valuable Research Data

initiatives that have recently been undertaken as a result of

Effective Business Practices

the evidence in its assessment data. To name but a few, the

Financial Statements

Ministry of Education recently invested $4 million specifically

to create mathematics learning opportunities for Ontario

educators in an effort to improve math learning.

Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District

School Board trustees formed a

special task force to investigate how

to improve math achievement

in the board and have made a

series of recommendations to

EQAO is pleased to recognize

improve student achievement.

numerous system-level initiatives

Bruce Rodrigues, EQAO’s

that have recently been

CEO, recently addressed

undertaken as a result of the

all secondary educators in

evidence in its assessment data.

the board about how EQAO

data can be used to guide

instruction and improve student

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

success. The Greater Essex County District School Board

has also formed a task force to improve elementary student

success in math.

To support student progress in mathematics further, EQAO

held three full-day math learning forums. The forums were

for Grades 6–9 math educators and focused on improving

student success in these grades. The forums were specifically

designed to support the math needs of students in the

transition from elementary to secondary school. The Englishlanguage

forums were led by Dr. Christine Suurtamm,

Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at the

University of Ottawa, and were titled Promoting Mathematics

Learning For All. The French language forum, Le pont de

la réussite de la 6 e à la 9 e année, was led by Jules Bonin-

Ducharme, Educational Numeracy Consultant at the Centre

franco-ontarien des ressources pédagogiques, and EQAO’s

Dr. Helene Massicotte, education officer (mathematics

content). In all, 65 school board teams participated in

these events.


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Building Capacity

EQAO has a strong commitment

to building capacity for the

use of data through service to

educators, parents, government

and the public.

Helping educators and parents interpret and use data as a means to support students and

improve learning is an important goal for the agency. EQAO assessment results identify trends

in student learning at the school, board and provincial levels and help pinpoint curriculum areas

that need attention; data are used as a reference point by educators to help improve programs in

their schools. EQAO’s School Support and Outreach Team is made up of former school principals

who work with school and board teams throughout the province to build their capacity for using

data. Once again this year, the agency conducted a series of presentations, information-sharing

sessions, seminars, learning forums, consultations and workshops on the topics of EQAO

assessment practices, resources and data interpretation.

Building Capacity I 11


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Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Empowering educators to leverage EQAO data is a foundational objective of the agency. From

April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015, EQAO’s School Support and Outreach Team presented to more

than 5000 Ontario educators right across the province. These sessions helped the educators learn

to use EQAO data as a base of evidence to support the vital work they do in their classrooms and

schools every day. These sessions helped educators triangulate their students’ achievement with

contextual data and information about the students’ attitudes toward their learning. These rich

analyses give school and board teams new insight into their students’ challenges—insights that

are helpful for guiding programming decisions that support improvement.

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

Recognizing the vital role that parents play in supporting student achievement, EQAO also

continued reaching out to this important group this year. The agency held 12 presentations

for parents, attracting 1150 participants. These presentations were held to help parents better

understand the role of EQAO, how to use its data and resources to support their child’s learning

and how to engage with their child’s school in discussions about achievement and improvement

planning. In addition to the presentations, six parent forums were held to engage parents in an open

and meaningful dialogue about the resources they required and how the agency can best support

them. All six of the forums featured presentations focusing on math. At the four English-language

parent forums, Dr. Lynda Colgan, Associate Professor of Elementary Mathematics Education

at Queen’s University and host of TVO’s Prime Radicals, presented a workshop on making

mathematics meaningful for parents. At the French parent forums, Joel Beaudoin, math consultant

with the Conseil scolaire catholique Providence, presented new methods of teaching math and

suggested how parents can support their children’s learning. In total, these forums attracted more

than 300 participants. EQAO was also invited to lead a workshop at the 2014 Ontario Association

for Parents in Catholic Education conference. The workshop, called “Helping Parents Understand

EQAO Assessments,” was attended by 30 participants.


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Over the course of the year, the Outreach Team held several

other sessions to assist stakeholders in supporting improved

student learning. The team held presentations and seminars

in English and French for teacher candidates in all regions

of Ontario. In all, they met with more than 4000 students at

the faculties of education at Nipissing, York, Laurier, Tyndale,

Niagara, Redeemer, Brock and Charles Sturt Universities, as

well as the University of Ottawa, the University of Western

Ontario and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the

University of Toronto.

To give future school administrators a stronger understanding

of how EQAO data can be used for school improvement

planning, the EQAO Outreach Team also offered sessions to

teachers enrolled in Principal Qualification Programs. A total of

199 participants attended seven presentations.

Throughout the year, CEO Bruce Rodrigues has accepted

requests to consult school board leadership teams. In the past

year, he has supported each of Ontario’s English school boards

and the Provincial Schools Branch in different capacities. His

school board visits often include helping board teams develop

board-specific improvement plans based on data from EQAO

assessments. Bruce was invited to be the keynote speaker

at multiple System Implementation and Monitoring sessions

across Ontario, where he advised on how schools can use

pedagogy and planning to improve student learning in math.

Jurisdictions from around the world continue to look to

EQAO and its success as inspiration for supporting their own

students. The agency’s assessment program has a global

reputation for excellence, and international delegations are

highly interested in learning about its successful assessment

model. Requests for EQAO presentations continued this year,

and the agency presented to representatives from Denmark,

Sweden, Indonesia and China.

Building Capacity I 13


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Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

Dr. Bette M. Stephenson,

Director Emeritus

The

Annunciation of Our Lord Catholic Elementary School

Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board

Clarke High School

Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board

Corpus Christi Catholic Elementary School

Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board

Dallington Public School

Toronto District School Board

Donald Cousens Public School

York Region District School Board

Edna Staebler Elementary School

Waterloo Region District School Board

Goderich Public School

Avon Maitland District School Board

Gracedale Public School

Toronto District School Board

Holy Trinity Catholic High School

Ottawa Catholic District School Board

John Fraser Secondary School

Peel District School Board

Joseph Gould Public School

Durham District School Board

Longfields-Davidson Heights Secondary School

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Michipicoten High School

Algoma District School Board

In 2009, EQAO launched the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement program

to recognize the good work done by schools across the province. In 2014, 27 elementary and

secondary schools from across Ontario received this distinction. These publicly funded schools

were recognized for making effective use of EQAO data and evidence from other sources to

enhance and support their students’ achievement. The recognized schools are representative

of the many great schools throughout Ontario that have adopted an action plan based on their

unique circumstances and have made notable improvements, as demonstrated by the positive

trend in their EQAO results over time.

Rockwood Public School

Renfrew County District School Board

Recognition of Achievement

Sacred Heart High School

Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board

St. Mary’s Catholic School

Renfrew County Catholic District School Board

St. Mary’s College

Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board

St. Mary’s High School

Waterloo Catholic District School Board

St. Robert Catholic High School

York Catholic District School Board

Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School

Thames Valley District School Board

École élémentaire catholique Saint-François-d’Assise

Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est

École élémentaire publique Nouvel Horizon

Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario

École élémentaire catholique Embrum

Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien

École élémentaire catholique Notre-Dame de la Merci

Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario

École secondaire Académie catholique Mère-Teresa

Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud

École secondaire catholique Cité des Jeunes

Conseil scolaire catholique de district des Grandes Rivières

École secondaire Le Caron

Conseil scolaire Viamonde


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Valuable

Research Data

EQAO has a commitment to

demonstrate that all of its

practices are grounded in

research-based knowledge.

EQAO remains committed to conducting insightful research that examines factors influencing

student achievement and ensures that the agency’s assessment methods and tools are the

most appropriate for Ontario’s education system.

Several research projects were published in 2014–2015. Tracking Student Achievement in

Literacy Over Time in English-Language Schools—Grade 3 (2005) to Grade 6 (2008) to OSSLT

(2012) Cohort examined the reading and writing achievement of students as they progressed

through the provincial assessments. This study provided teachers, principals, policy-makers

and other administrators with important insights into students’ progress at key points during

their schooling.

Valuable Research Data I 15


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Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

The study documented empirical evidence that students who met the provincial standard on the

EQAO assessments in the early grades were more likely to be successful on the OSSLT in Grade

10 than those who did not. It also noted that many students who did not meet the standard in

Grades 3 and 6 were nonetheless able to be successful on the OSSLT.

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

Meanwhile, Tracking Student Achievement in Mathematics Over Time in English-Language

Schools—Grade 3 (2005) to Grade 6 (2008) to Grade 9 (2012) Cohort examined the mathematics

achievement of a cohort of students from Grade 3 to Grade 9 (academic and applied courses)

and the relationship between their achievement and their contextual and attitudinal data.

The findings provided new evidence that students who have met the provincial standard on the

EQAO assessments in the early grades were more likely to meet the standards in later grades

and to enroll in the academic course in Grade 9 than those who did not. Of equal note, the study

found that many students who did not meet the provincial standard in Grade 3 or 6 did meet it in

Grade 9. Both of these studies reinforce the need to identify students who struggle early in their

school career so that appropriate supports can be put in place to help them progress.


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Another research study published this year relates to the

modernization of EQAO’s provincial assessment program.

As part of the “EQAO Online” project and beginning in 2015,

the agency is moving to distributed online scoring rather

than centralized scoring. This means that instead of scorers

gathering in one central location, EQAO will have qualified

scorers across the province participate in training and score

the assessments from home.

To support this move, the layout of EQAO’s paper assessment

booklets needed to be modified to facilitate the scanning of

students’ handwritten work. To guide this change, the New

Assessment Booklet Layout Usability Study was conducted.

This research showed that the majority of students and

teachers responded favourably to the new booklet layout.

Based on the findings of this study, EQAO was confident

moving forward with the new layout in 2015. In the coming

months, EQAO will be conducting a number of additional

studies in support of the move to online assessments.

In 2015, the first cohort of English-language students who

participated in full-day junior and senior kindergarten were

scheduled to write EQAO’s primary-division assessment in

Grade 3. In anticipation, EQAO consulted with scholars from

the Ontario Institute for the Study of Education of the University

of Toronto to determine how best to analyze and responsibly

report on the assessment results of this cohort of students.

Valuable Research Data I 17


18

I

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Effective Business

Practices

EQAO is committed to strategically

aligned business practices that

enhance the agency’s ability to

focus on and deliver key priorities

and commitments.

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

The 2014–2015 fiscal year marked the end of EQAO’s five-year strategic cycle. In order to

develop its new strategic plan, EQAO engaged in extensive consultation with stakeholders

around the province. This included collecting over 7500 responses to a public survey about

EQAO’s activities and priorities, nine strategic planning sessions in every region of the

province, board-of-directors and staff workshops and discussions and consultations with

EQAO committees and partners. The feedback collected throughout the province will help

the agency develop its priorities and goals for the upcoming business cycle. The agency’s

priorities are anticipated to be finalized by summer 2015.


This independent evaluation of a fundamental

responsibility of the public education system is

delivered at cost that works out to only

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

In September 2014, EQAO launched its new Event

Management System, which facilitates the logistical

organization and management of committee meetings,

assessment scoring and learning forums, as well as the hiring

of contract employees. The system’s functionalities support

EQAO’s efforts to implement online scoring and provide

notification of payments to committee members and scorers,

while bringing about improvements and efficiencies.

$

50

$

16

0.14 %

In keeping with the agency’s goal to modernize its technology,

EQAO’s Web site redevelopment is progressing well. The new

site will provide improved navigation, a search feature, a site

map, a new video library, improved accessibility for

users, mobile platform compatibility through

responsive web design for tablets and

smart phones, and social media share

buttons. The public launch of the

new Web site is scheduled for

The cost of all of EQAO’s

summer 2015.

activities is equivalent to

EQAO’s ability to deliver on

key priorities and honour

its commitments is made

possible through the

of the average per-pupil

efforts of its dedicated and

funding allocation by the

knowledgeable employees. In

Ministry of Education.

the past year, many long-serving

employees celebrated years-ofservice

milestones with the agency.

per student writing an EQAO

assessment

OR

per student enrolled in an

Ontario public school

Between April 1, 2014, and March 31, 2015, six employees

marked five years of service, seven employees surpassed 10

years, and seven employees celebrated 15 years with EQAO.

The agency recognizes the value of its team members and

takes pride in acknowledging their ongoing commitment.

For a total of less than $32 million for the 2014–2015 fiscal

year, the provincial assessment program measures how

well students across the province are meeting the reading,

writing and mathematics expectations defined in The Ontario

Curriculum at key stages of their education. This independent

evaluation of a fundamental responsibility of the public

education system is delivered at cost that works out to only

$50 per student writing an EQAO assessment, or $16 per

student enrolled in an Ontario public school. This cost is

comparable to 0.14% of the average amount the Ministry

of Education spends per student. This is a minimal cost to

conduct assessments that produce objective, comparable

data that are widely used to improve programs for all students

in Ontario.

Effective Business Practices I 19


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

Financial Statements

Year ended March 31, 2015

EQAO’s audited financial results for operations ending

March 31, 2015, were funded through Ministry of

Education allocations.


21

I

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

To the Board of Directors of the

Education Quality and Accountability Office

KPMG LLP Telephone (416) 228-7000

Yonge Corporate Centre Fax (416) 228-7123

4100 Yonge Street Suite 200 Internet www.kpmg.ca

Toronto ON M2P 2H3

Canada

INDEPENDENT AUDITORS' REPORT

We have audited the accompanying financial statements of the Education Quality and Accountability

Office, which comprise the statement of financial position as at March 31, 2015, the statements of

operations and accumulated surplus, changes in net financial assets and cash flows for the year then

ended, and notes, comprising a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory

information.

Management's Responsibility for the Financial Statements

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in

accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards, and for such internal control as

management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free

from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

Auditors' Responsibility

Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit. We

conducted our audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards. Those

standards require that we comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the audit to obtain

reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement.

An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures

in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on our judgment, including the

assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or

error. In making those risk assessments, we consider internal control relevant to the entity's

preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that

are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the

effectiveness of the entity's internal control. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of

accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by management, as

well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements.

We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis

for our audit opinion.

Opinion

In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of

the Education Quality and Accountability Office as at March 31, 2015, and its results of operations

and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting

standards.

Chartered Professional Accountants, Licensed Public Accountants

June 11, 2015

Toronto, Canada

KPMG LLP is a Canadian limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG

network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative

(“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity.

KPMG Canada provides services to KPMG LLP.


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EDUCATION QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Statement of Financial Position

March 31, 2015, with comparative information for 2014

Financial Assets

2015 2014

Current assets:

Cash $ 1,010,068 $ 2,465,219

Cash - board restricted fund (note 2(b)) 5,571,796 7,519,706

Accounts receivable (note 3) 1,297,817 509,291

7,879,681 10,494,216

Financial Liabilities

Current liabilities:

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 1,602,465 1,699,144

Net financial assets 6,277,216 8,795,072

Non-Financial Assets

Prepaid expenses (note 4) 1,004,486 779,608

Tangible capital assets (note 5) 3,295,290 856,098

4,299,776 1,635,706

Accumulated surplus $ 10,576,992 $ 10,430,778

See accompanying notes to financial statements.

On behalf of the Board:

Chair

Chief Executive Officer

1

Financial Statements I 22


23

I

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EDUCATION QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Statement of Operations and Accumulated Surplus

Year ended March 31, 2015, with comparative information for 2014

2015 2015 2014

Budget Actual Actual

(note 10)

Revenue:

Ministry of Education:

Base allocation payments $ 36,252,677 $ 32,133,580 $ 32,077,100

Other – 585,128 585,322

36,252,677 32,718,708 32,662,422

Expenses:

Service and rental 20,475,510 17,509,674 17,214,265

Salaries and wages 12,233,673 11,700,123 12,033,560

Transportation and communication 2,814,342 2,625,810 2,970,677

Supplies and equipment 729,152 736,887 783,849

36,252,677 32,572,494 33,002,351

Annual surplus (deficit) – 146,214 (339,929)

Accumulated surplus, beginning of year 10,430,778 10,430,778 10,770,707

Accumulated surplus, end of year $ 10,430,778 $ 10,576,992 $ 10,430,778

Accumulated surplus comprises:

Externally restricted $ 5,005,196 $ 2,911,072

Internally restricted (note 2(b)) 5,571,796 7,519,706

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

See accompanying notes to financial statements.

2

$ 10,576,992 $ 10,430,778


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EDUCATION QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Statement of Changes in Net Financial Assets

Year ended March 31, 2015, with comparative information for 2014

2015 2015 2014

Budget Actual Actual

(note 10)

Annual surplus (deficit) $ – $ 146,214 $ (339,929)

Acquisition of tangible capital assets – (2,914,353) (876,795)

Amortization of tangible capital assets 332,221 475,161 332,221

332,221 (2,439,192) (544,574)

Acquisition of prepaid expenses – (1,004,486) (779,608)

Use of prepaid expenses – 779,608 792,311

– (224,878) 12,703

Increase (decrease) in net financial assets 332,221 (2,517,856) (871,800)

Net financial assets, beginning of year 8,795,072 8,795,072 9,666,872

Net financial assets, end of year $ 9,127,293 $ 6,277,216 $ 8,795,072

See accompanying notes to financial statements.

3

Financial Statements I 24


25

I

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EDUCATION QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Statement of Cash Flows

Year ended March 31, 2015, with comparative information for 2014

Cash provided by (used in):

2015 2014

Operating activities:

Annual surplus (deficit) $ 146,214 $ (339,929)

Amortization of tangible capital assets which does

not affect cash 475,161 332,221

621,375 (7,708)

Change in non-cash operating working capital:

Accounts receivable (788,526) 917,411

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities (96,679) (233,192)

Prepaid expenses (224,878) 12,703

(488,708) 689,214

Financing activities:

Acquisition of tangible capital assets (2,914,353) (876,795)

Investing activities:

Change to board restricted fund 1,947,910 (75,686)

Decrease in cash (1,455,151) (263,267)

Cash, beginning of year 2,465,219 2,728,486

Cash, end of year $ 1,010,068 $ 2,465,219

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

See accompanying notes to financial statements.

4


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EDUCATION QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Notes to Financial Statements

Year ended March 31, 2015

The Education Quality and Accountability Office (the "Agency") was established by the Province of

Ontario by the EQAO Act, June 1996. The Agency was created to assure greater accountability and

to contribute to the enhancement of the quality of education in Ontario. This is done through

assessments and reviews based on objective, reliable and relevant information, and the timely public

release of that information along with recommendations for system improvement.

1. Significant accounting policies:

These financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with Canadian public

sector accounting standards, as established by the Public Sector Accounting Board of the

Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada ("CPA Canada") and, where applicable, the

recommendations of the Accounting Standards Board of CPA Canada, reflect the accounting

policies set out below:

(a) Revenue recognition:

The Agency is funded by the Ministry of Education in accordance with established budget

arrangements. The Agency receives base allocation payments in accordance with the

fiscal year's approved budget. These transfer payments are recognized in the financial

statements in the year in which the transfer is authorized and all eligibility criteria have

been met, except when a transfer gives rise to a liability.

Other revenue is recognized at the time the service is rendered.

(b) Tangible capital assets:

Tangible capital assets are stated at cost less accumulated amortization. Tangible capital

assets are amortized on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives as follows:

Computer equipment

Furniture and fixtures

3 to 10 years

5 years

For assets acquired or brought into use during the year, amortization is calculated from the

month following that in which additions come into operation.

5

Financial Statements I 26


27

I

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EDUCATION QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Notes to Financial Statements (continued)

Year ended March 31, 2015

1. Significant accounting policies (continued):

The Agency considers the carrying value of tangible capital assets when events or changes

in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of an asset may not be recoverable. If the

Agency expects an asset to generate cash flows less than the asset's carrying value, at the

lowest level of identifiable cash flows, the Agency recognizes a loss for the difference

between the asset's carrying value and its fair value.

(c) Measurement uncertainty:

The preparation of financial statements requires management to make estimates and

assumptions that affect the reported amount of assets and liabilities, disclosure of

contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported

amounts of revenue and expenses during the year. Such estimates include providing for

amortization of capital assets. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

2. Accumulated surplus:

(a) Externally restricted accumulated surplus:

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

The Agency receives base allocation payments in accordance with the year's approved

budget. Actual expenses incurred in the year could differ from the budgeted amounts. The

difference between base allocation payments received and actual expenses incurred are

tracked separately as externally restricted accumulated surplus.

(b) Internally restricted accumulated surplus:

A board restricted fund was established by a Board of Directors' ("Board") resolution for the

purpose of examining assessment processes and researching emerging methodologies in

large scale assessment in order to maintain Ontario's high quality assessment programs as

best of class. The fund is currently invested in a Royal Bank of Canada current account.

The Agency has the authority to retain any revenue that is not provincial funding according

to the EQAO Act, the Agency Establishment and Accountability Directive and the Financial

Administration Act.

6


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EDUCATION QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Notes to Financial Statements (continued)

Year ended March 31, 2015

2. Accumulated surplus (continued):

2015 2014

Balance, beginning of year $ 7,519,706 $ 7,444,020

Appropriation of other income 462,114 458,000

Interest income earned on funds 122,384 126,064

Cost associated with fee-based administration (note 8) (46,032) (43,381)

Costs associated to IT strategy (2,486,376) (464,997)

Balance, end of year $ 5,571,796 $ 7,519,706

In the prior year, the Board approved a motion to fully restrict the internally restricted

accumulated surplus for the Board-approved IT strategy.

3. Accounts receivable:

Included in accounts receivable is a transfer payment in the amount of $851,490 (2014 - nil)

due from the Ministry of Education.

4. Prepaid expenses:

Prepaid expenses are paid in cash and recorded as assets before they are used or consumed.

As at year end, the balance is made up of the following amounts:

2015 2014

Prepaid expenses $ 322,308 $ 91,884

Prepaid secondees 682,178 687,724

$ 1,004,486 $ 779,608

7

Financial Statements I 28


29

I

Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EDUCATION QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Notes to Financial Statements (continued)

Year ended March 31, 2015

5. Tangible capital assets:

2015 2014

Accumulated Net book Net book

Cost amortization value value

Computer equipment $ 5,439,732 $ 2,203,202 $ 3,236,530 $ 836,643

Furniture and fixtures 317,536 258,776 58,760 19,455

$ 5,757,268 $ 2,461,978 $ 3,295,290 $ 856,098

Amortization of tangible capital assets recorded in the current year amounts to $475,161

(2014 - $332,221).

In 2014, there was a balance of $282,985 for computer software under development relating to

the Event Management System ("EMS"). As the software was ready for use in October 2014,

the assets related to EMS software are classified under computer equipment.

6. Lease commitments:

EQAO Annual Report • 2014–2015

The Agency leases premises under a long-term lease that expires on December 31, 2017.

Under the terms of the lease, the Agency is required to pay an annual base rent, which is

predetermined based on square footage rates plus operating and maintenance charges.

Future minimum annual scheduled payments are as follows:

2016 $ 1,147,624

2017 989,279

2018 503,519

8

$ 2,640,422


Contents

EQAO’s Board of Directors

Message from the Chair and the CEO

About EQAO

Strategic Priorities

“ Best of Class” Assessments

Supporting Student Progress

Building Capacity

Valuable Research Data

Effective Business Practices

Financial Statements

EDUCATION QUALITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE

Notes to Financial Statements (continued)

Year ended March 31, 2015

7. Financial instruments:

The Agency's financial instruments consist of cash, board restricted fund, accounts receivable

and accounts payable and accrued liabilities. Financial instruments are recorded at fair value

on initial recognition. The fair values of these financial instruments approximate their carrying

values due to their short-term nature.

It is management's opinion that the Agency is not exposed to significant interest, currency or

credit risk arising from these financial instruments.

8. Allocation of expenses:

Incremental administration expenses are allocated to fee-based administration revenue.

Expenses are allocated proportionately based on the number of individual student assessments

administered.

9. Liquidity risk:

Liquidity risk is the risk that the Agency will be unable to fulfill its obligations on a timely basis or

at a reasonable cost. The Agency manages its liquidity risk by monitoring its operating

requirements. The Agency prepares budget and cash forecasts to ensure it has sufficient

funds to fulfill its obligations.

There have been no significant changes to the liquidity risk exposure from 2014.

10. Budget:

The budget information has been derived from the budget approved by the Board.

9

Financial Statements I 30


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