News Releases
December 04, 2007

Alberta’s 15-year olds place among world’s best on international tests

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Edmonton… For the second time in a week, international test results have placed Alberta students among the world’s best. This time, the results of the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) show that Alberta's students have jumped from fourth to second place in science, the focus subject for the 2006 tests.

In science, Alberta scored second highest in the world behind Finland. Alberta is the only province whose overall science score, as well as each individual test score, is significantly higher than the Canadian average. In the two minor areas of study, Alberta tied for third in reading and tied for fifth in mathematics.

"Alberta's students are achieving incredible things," said Minister of Education, Ron Liepert.  "Student success is a collaboration of the efforts of teachers, parents, students and all educational stakeholders. This ensures that Alberta is recognized as an educational leader worldwide and our students are positioned for great things in a global context."

Comparison of performance in science between immigrant and non-immigrant students is another area of interest in PISA 2006. Alberta is the only jurisdiction whose immigrant students not only performed significantly better than, or as well as, the average non-immigrant students in Canada, but these students also demonstrated no difference with their non-immigrant counterparts within Alberta. This is contrary to international and national trends that non-immigrant youth tend to outperform their immigrant peers.

"Our results show that Alberta can be held as a model for helping immigrant students achieve excellence in their education," said Liepert.

PISA is administered every three years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The tests assess the international achievement of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics and science. In Alberta, approximately 2,000 students from 90 schools, together with other sampled students from 57 countries, participated in the test in the spring of 2006. 2006 marks the third time Alberta participated in this programme.

Supporting student learning is part of Premier Ed Stelmach’s plan to secure Alberta’s future by building communities, greening our growth and creating opportunity.


Backgrounder

Alberta’s 15-year olds place among world’s best on international tests

PISA scores are given as averages within a range. Confidence intervals reflect the range of scores rather than the average score to account for sampling and measurement errors. This allows for a more accurate comparison of scores.  Attached are result charts for mathematics, reading and science.

PISAScience07

PISAReading07

PISAMath07