Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education, Vol 1, No 1 (2011)

Remixing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT)

Brenna Quigley


The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) is a high-stakes, standardized literacy test that high school students in Ontario must pass before graduating with a high school diploma. However, each year, approximately 35,000 students do not pass the OSSLT, jeopardizing their chances to graduate. Critical literacies encourage readers to act upon what they are reading by responding to, evaluating, and/or rewriting what they are reading. Throughout this paper, I will be applying these theories by proposing an unsettling, a deterritorialization, and a potential hybridization, or remixing of the OSSLT to better meet the needs of the diverse group of students writing the test. Such a remix could also create a generative and open space for reflection and reconsideration of what we are trying to achieve with this literacy test. This paper focuses on issues of equity and social justice in the context of standardized assessments, specifically the OSSLT, because this literacy test has the potential to significantly impact the lives of youth in Ontario.


Critical Literacies; Social Justice; Youth Engagement; Literacy Testing; Standardized Testing; OSSLT

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