Alberta students achieve highest science marks in Canada
Top-notch achievement marks the start of Education Week 2008
Edmonton... Alberta’s 13 year-old students have achieved the highest marks in the country in science, according to national test results.
“Celebrating the success of our students is a great way to kick off Education Week,” said Dave Hancock, Minister of Education. “Alberta students continue to excel academically because of the province’s high curriculum standards, excellent learning resources, well-trained teachers and strong assessment programs.”
More than 2,800 Alberta students from nearly 180 schools participated in the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) test, conducted by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) in spring 2007. The test assesses the national achievement of 13 year-old students in reading, mathematics and science, with a major focus on one subject per year. Reading was the focus for 2007. Alberta students ranked third in the country in reading, which made up about 60 per cent of the test, and the province took second place in math – a tie with Ontario.
“Literacy skills prepare students for lifelong learning, and that’s why our education system places great emphasis on improving these skills for all Albertans,” said Minister Hancock. “The recent, first ever Pan-Canadian Literacy Forum in Edmonton was an exciting way to raise awareness about literacy and to provide Albertans with a common understanding of what is needed to increase literacy rates in our province.”
The forum, which Alberta co-hosted on April 14 - 16, included an opportunity for Albertans to contribute to discussions that will help create a provincial literacy framework. The document will guide the direction of literacy planning in the province and translate into action for the benefit of students.
PCAP tests will be conducted every three years. The program replaced the School Achievement Indicators Program (SAIP), which tested 13 and 16 year-old students on a rotating basis in mathematics, reading and writing, and science. Across all 10 Canadian provinces and the Yukon, more than 35,000 students from 1,600 schools participated in the 2007 PCAP test.
Alberta Education invites you to celebrate Education Week 2008 (April 27 – May 3) in our schools and communities across the province. This year’s theme, Today's achievements expand tomorrow’s horizons, provides an opportunity to celebrate Alberta’s current achievements and future vision in education.
Pan-Canadian Assessment Program Results
PCAP scores are expressed on a scale with a national average of 500 points and a standard deviation of 100 points. About two-thirds of students Canada-wide scored between 400 and 600. A margin of error due to sampling and measurement errors is always associated with each score. Therefore, a range of scores, called a confidence interval, is used to reflect this margin of error. When the confidence intervals don’t overlap, real differences in scores exist.
Chart #1 - Average scores and confidence intervals for Canadian jurisdictions in science
Chart #2 - Average scores and confidence intervals for Canadian jurisdictions in mathematics
Chart #3 - Average scores and confidence intervals for Canadian jurisdictions in reading
Chart #4 - Percentage of students achieving at the various levels in reading by province (Overall)
As indicated in chart #3, Alberta scored slightly below the national average and ranked 3rd when compared to other provinces.
As shown in chart #4, results in reading are reported using three levels of achievement, with level 1 being the lowest and level 3 the highest. Based on the standard setting held by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, level 2 is designated as the Canadian standard for 13-year-olds and is also referred to as the target level.
Alberta students performed slightly above the Canadian average in reading in terms of percentage achieving the Canadian standard, level 2 or above.