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The OSSLC Ė a pathway to mediocrity

Hi folks. Welcome back. This is the penultimate article in our series. That is an arrogant and snooty way to say “second-to-last”. We’ve been tearing apart the rationale for the OSSLC and since we have gone so far down that road already, I figure why bother to balance things out. The political hacks can defend the legislation of their creation at mixers and networking events. They can all agree that they’ve done the right thing and go home at night and go to sleep. We will press on, however, deeper and deeper into the maze of this test and what it means for you, your children, and your community.

What can be done?

Over the course of nine articles, we’ve examined the OSSLT, the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test and the course that prepares students for it, the aptly named OSSLC, or Ontario Secondary School Literacy Course.
Educators, principals, journalists, this author (a former teacher and someone who continues to work in the field of education), students, and parents have all called the system that governs this exam and course into question.
So, here we are, in front of our computer screens, all riled up and upset. We are annoyed and frustrated. We can see behind the state’s thinly veiled attempt to create a test and a course that they say helps out students to become better readers. We see the smokescreen for what it is: the creation of mediocrity and substandard learning for scores of children. A travesty.

OSSLC (Ontarion Secondary School Literacy Course) Overview

In the first five articles in this series, we took a look at the overview of the OSSLT, the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test. We examined student perspective and assessed the impact the exam has in their life and heard their thoughts on the subject. We surveyed a Canadian journalist’s investigation into the effectiveness of the exams and accompanied her as she strove to get at the truth about the OSSLT.

In this five-part article series, we will be examining the course that prepares students to take the exam. Will its effectiveness be called into question? Will Canadians have cause to sleep well at night knowing that their state has provided the best possible option for their children? Or will it be a different story? Only time will tell. Let’s begin our trip.

We’ll begin by looking at the text of the Course Description. What I am about to show you is the exact text from a .PDF file found at, the official website for the CSC.

OSSLC Broken Apart

Welcome back to our in-depth examination and what is shaping up to be a nice indictment of the Canadian education system. Granted, it is not hard to find flaws with public education so the authors of this post commit to offering a fair and balanced perspective that is designed to keep the best interests of educators, students, and parents in mind. It is the state who is under the microscope, and speaking as a former educator, they deserve to be. The system is so broken, they cannot be trusted to keep their own accountabilities any longer. A strong opinion but a fair one borne out of years of experience as part of a system that does not function as it says it does.

OSSLC: Saying nothing in particular with a lot of fancy words

In this part of the article, we are going to continue to rip into the rationale for this course. Hey, you may think I am being mean and cruel here by being so frank and direct.

I think thatís a sign that our society has gone soft and directness is no longer seen as honesty. Itís seen as cruelty. I can attest to you that the best feedback I have received in my professional career has been the most brutally honest and direct.