Facts on Education Series: Standardized Testing Does Not Lead to Improved Educational Outcomes for Students

Girl writingJPEGEducators and students should be provided with assessment tools to identify issues and gaps for individual students.

Release date: 10 February 2014

Standardized testing is a contentious issue in Canada, and internationally. There is a large body of literature about these large-scale standardized tests with no consensus on their effectiveness. According to the Canadian Education Association’s latest Facts on Education fact sheet, while there is some support for standardized testing, overwhelmingly, research suggests that it does not lead to improved educational outcomes for students.

To access What is the Value of Standardized Testing, go to  Facts On Education – Standardized Testing  And for other hot button issues such as, Under what conditions does technology impact learning? Do good grades in high school guarantee post-secondary successHow useful is homework? and Do smaller classes improve learning?, please visit: www.cea-ace.ca/facts-on-education

About The Facts on Education

With a generous sponsorship from the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA), CEA has teamed up with researchers from the University of Prince Edward Island’s Faculty of Education to conduct the research and produce the content. Four more facts sheets focusing on what the research says about the correlation of high school grades and post-secondary success, the impact of technology on classrooms, effective approaches to improving students’ mental well-being, creating conditions for Aboriginal student success in our public schools, and defining what standardized testing is actually measuring, will be distributed throughout the 2013-2014 academic year.

 

Max Cooke, Director of Communications

Canadian Education Assocation

 

PISA results shows that the public education system in Canada is working

global citizens handsFEBRUARY 10, 2014:  The 2012 PISA results were released in December .  The “Programme for International Student Assessment”  is run by the Organization for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD).  Testing is done every three years since 2000.  More than half a million 15-year old students from 65 countries take part in studies assessing their abilities in math, reading and science.  While those of us who work in education are always cautious about the weight given to this kind of testing, it is so far, an important indicator of how Canada measures up academically when compared to other countries.  And this year, we learned a bit more about Canada’s learners, outside the usual academic portrait.

Bottom line, Canada does very well in this testing.  With a mean score of 518, we find ourselves in 10th place.  Higher scores ranged from 519 to 613 and were from China, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Finland, Netherlands, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.  Our neighbors to the south, the United States ranked in 33rd place with a score of 481.

While we have dropped a few spots (partly as other countries improved their scores), it is certainly fair to say that education systems in Canada remain the envy of countries throughout the world.  That is not an accident of history.  It is a success built upon the work of locally elected and accountable public school boards for more than a century.

And what school boards realize is that even with success it is always necessary to re-evaluate and improve what we do.  This is why trustees are constantly working together throughout this country to share ideas and best practices that will help our students succeed.

The importance of school boards and the history of their success is not always recognized when provincial governments discuss educational policies.  But it is school boards and their associations that stand up for students in the face of provincial cut backs to education.

The governance of public education in Canada by locally elected school boards and the advocacy by those boards and their provincial associations has resulted in an education system where:

  • More students go on to university and college (51%) than the average of OECD countries (32%).
  • Policies and practices have had a positive impact on the extent to which socio-economic status influences student success, Canada being one of only 8 countries which were able to combine high performance with high levels of equity in education.

The bottom line is that the work of Canadian school trustees have produced a system that works.   It is the efforts of trustees across this country; listening to their communities and creating the policies and environments that encourage our students to succeed.

The Canadian School Boards Association is proud to support this work.

Michael McEvoy

President, CSBA

 

Ref: PISA 2012 Results in Focus (pisa-2012-results-overview.pdf)

How Canadians Measure Up Internationally (81-590-x2010001-eng.pdf)

CSBA responds to the AANDC “Blueprint for First Nations Education”

iStock_000003355083MediumWhile we support a new way forward in First Nations education, when CSBA was invited to submit comments to  AANDC regarding the document “Developing a First Nations Education Act: Discussion Guide”, we  clearly expressed our concern that the process used to develop the coming legislation had been far too unilateral in approach, with no attempt to co-develop an education system in true partnership with First Nations.  The subsequent “Blueprint for First Nations Education” released in July 2013 served only to increase our concerns.   In response, CSBA has asked Minister Valcourt to recognize First Nations as a primary or at very least, an equal partner in decisions that will affect their young people going forward, as well as to address other issues such as funding.  The full letter sent to the MInister on behalf of Canadian school boards  is available at Letter to AANDC.

PISA Results released December 3, 2013

thoughtprovokersfestivalThe 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results were released December 3, 2013.   Canada has seen a small decline in results but still remains among the best performers internationally, behind only 9 other countries.  “PISA 2012 Results in Focus” is a summary document that provides an international prespective, as well as more detailed comparisons of several provinces and how they perform in the three categories (mathematices, reading and science) vis-à-vis  international rankings.  In addition to showing above average results in the assessment of skills , Canada is also one of several countries demonstrating leadership in “equity in education opportunities.”  Worth a look…

CSBA PRESIDENT MICHAEL McEVOY ADVOCATES STRONG ROLE FOR SCHOOL BOARDS

CSBA President Michael McEvoy
CSBA 203 Annual Conference, Vancouver, B.C.

New Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) President Michael McEvoy stated that a strong and united CSBA will support and advocate alongside its provincial partners to safeguard the key role of publicly and democratically-elected school boards.

McEvoy assumed the Presidency before more than 400 school trustees from across Canada attending the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) http://cdnsba.org/ annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia from July 4-7, 2013.

Many trustees expressed concern at the conference about a growing and worrisome trend by provincial governments to bypass or limit the legitimate role of publicly-elected school boards in delivering quality education and maximizing student success.

The annual conference, hosted by the British Columbia School Trustees Association, offered 450 delegates an engaging and inspiring opening keynote address by the Right Honorable Michäelle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, who reminded delegates of her own personal journey and who gave true meaning to the conference theme, Diversity Matters.

Excellent speakers and presentations on such important CSBA themes as Aboriginal Education, Student Health and Wellness and 21st Century Learning Skills were all explored through the prism of respecting diversity within our public school communities.

For more information contact: Valerie McLeod, Managing Director of CSBA at info@cdnsba.org

School boards address student inactivity

Dr. Mark Tremblay

Only 5 % of Canadian school children are meeting the national physical activity standards.  Dr. Mark Tremblay, an expert in Children’s Health and part of the team that wrote the 2013 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card, will be at the CSBA conference in Vancouver this week to speak to this critical situation and to offer 10 solutions as a starting point for school boards’ discussions.  Student Health and Wellness is a Key Priority for the CSBA and we hope that this Pre-Congress session, which takes place from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on July 4,  will assist trustees and commissioners from across Canada to take an active role in affecting change.

Please visit   http://www.csba2013.ca/index.php/program/july4  for more information on the session or Dr. Tremblay.

Only a week left…!

The 2013 CSBA congress is only week away!   The program is sure to have something for everyone and we hope you can join us for this important opportunity to share and learn from other trustees/commissioners across Canada, as well as experts in the field of education.  We are especially looking forward to sharing with you and hearing your questions at the CSBA AGM and the Cross Canada Check In.   For those planning to attend the Annual General Meeting, you may download and print the 2013 CSBA Annual Report or simply access our website during the session using the wireless connection in the meeting room.    See you in beautiful British Columbia!