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Grade 6 student Ashish Sharma, left, works with classmates as a group on their EQAO standardized test prep at Lougheed Middle School in Brampton, Ont., on May 16, 2013. EQAO results were released Sept. 18, 2013.

J.P. Moczulski/The Globe and Mail

Toronto's public school students are showing no improvement in math, but made gains in their reading and writing skills, according to standardized test results released Wednesday.

The province's Education and Quality and Accountability Office, which administers annual tests, released data on individual schools and boards.

The results for the Toronto District School Board, Canada's largest board, showed that 62 per cent of Grade 6 students met the provincial standard in math in the 2012-13 school year, down from 63 per cent in 2008-09. Meanwhile, about 79 per cent of those students met the standard in writing and 77 per cent met the standard in reading, up from 67 per cent for both groups in 2008-09.

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The results also revealed that big-city urban boards generally tend to fare better than small-city school boards.

At the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board in Kenora, only 38 per cent of Grade 6 students met the provincial standard in math in 2012-13. At the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, that number was 60 per cent.

The EQAO numbers reveal a common trend right across the province: Math scores continue to decline. The provincial results released earlier showed that students are losing ground in the subject for the fifth year in a row.

At issue is how prepared graduating teachers are to teach math. But others argue that the math curriculum is to blame, which places more emphasis on real-world concepts and application rather than on rote learning.

Education Minister Liz Sandals said in an earlier statement that all curriculum documents are periodically reviewed. She added: "The Student Achievement Division in my Ministry is also in the process of reviewing math results across the province to determine if there are best practices that can be applied across the sector."

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