09/25/2013 17:14 EDT | Updated 11/25/2013 05:12 EST

Uneven results in math for Toronto students: EQAO

Toronto students are showing uneven improvements in the subject of math, test results released today reveal.

EQAO, which issues standardized testing that charts a school's progress in subjects like reading, writing and math, released results for Grade 9 math.

The EQAO says that only 34 per cent of Grade 9 students in applied math — the math stream for students who plan to choose college after high school — met or exceeded the provincial standard.

That's a 2 per cent drop from last year.

Overall, though, the Toronto District School Board says the results are good.

The education minister agrees.

"It isn't just about looking at Grade 9 math," said Liz Sandals. "It's really about going about looking back at elementary math and starting to build success early."

That means making sure teachers are better prepared to teach math.

"Math should be taught in a sequential skill-building way," said Doretta Wilson, from the Society for Quality Education. "So in the very early primary grades those basic arithmetic operations are learned to be so fluent and so automatic, children don't have to think about them any more."