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 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
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

CSBA Elects New Leadership


 Montreal, March 29, 2013 -  The Canadian School Boards Association is pleased to announce that at the Spring Board of Directors meeting, the members elected Michael McEvoy, of the British Columbia School Trustees Association as the new President of the CSBA.  Michael will assume office as of July 1, 2013 at the CSBA congress in Vancouver.

Michael has been an elected trustee for the past 11 years on the Greater Victoria Board of Education, including three years as Board Chair. He is nearing the end of his second year as President of the British Columbia School Trustees Association and has been a valuable contributor at the CSBA table for two years.

Growing up in Manitoba, earning a law degree from the University of Manitoba before moving to the west coast in the mid 1980’s.  He is presently Assistant Commissioner for the Office of the BC Commission Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC.  He is also very involved in his community including with the United Way, where he served as campaign Chair in 2009.  Michael is active, playing hockey with a bunch of old guys and cycling to work most every day.  His wife Judy is a school principal.  His two extraordinary daughters are in grade 12 and in third year of university, respectively.

Michael believes passionately that locally elected, accountable school boards underlie the strength of public education in Canada and that the CSBA, has an important role to play “connecting boards across our incredible country, which undoubtedly contributes to making our education system even stronger”.   

The CSBA delegates also elected Janet Foord of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association to serve as Vice President, alongside Mr. McEvoy.  We look forward to the dynamic leadership that these two valuable members will bring to the year ahead as the CSBA navigates the challenges and issues shared by boards across the country.

Over the past year, the CSBA has had the privilege of working with current President, Sandi Urban Hall of Saskatchewan and Vice President, Jacquie  Hansen of Alberta, whose leadership at the helm of the association during a challenging and extremely important developmental year was invaluable. We thank them both for their contributions and wish them luck in their future projects, which will no doubt, be many!


MONTREAL, JANUARY 9, 2013 -  The Canadian School Boards Association is pleased to see the results of the study “School Boards Matter: A Pan-Canadian study of school district governance”  by Bruce Sheppard, Gerald Galway, Jean Brown and John Wiens.

The full report, School Boards Matter; A Pan-Canadian Study of School District Governance   is available along with a CSBA Executive Summary and a list of other studies with complementary reading.

This important and timely study on school district governance, counters recent literature that has called school boards “wasteful hierarchies” and deals head on with political trends affecting public education across Canada.  At the heart of the study, the authors provide convincing evidence that in fact, effective and successful school boards do matter to the education of our children.

The authors draw a strong correlation between effective school boards and successful public school systems and state that “strong and effective boards are essential to maintaining a meaningful and sustainable public school system”.  They provide clear answers to the question “What are the attributes of effective school boards in Canada?”.

This study will be of particular interest to local school board trustees/commissioners across Canada, Provincial School Boards Associations and members of the CSBA Board of Directors.

CSBA President, Sandi Urban Hall welcomed the report and stated, “Boards of education use a wealth of research to strengthen their education practices and decisions. This report gives school boards data that will help strengthen school board governance and as a result, student success”.

For more information, contact the CSBA at valerie.mcleod@cdnsba.org.

Canadian School Boards Association is proud to have participated in the Senate Committee on Human Rights report on Cyberbullying, released in Ottawa this past December.

MONTREAL, January 8, 2012 -  The harm caused by cyberbullying is known all too well by Canadians. In fall of 2011, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights Committee was mandated by the Senate to study this important issue and subsequently, conducted hearings with over sixty witnesses, including academic researchers, volunteers, website operators, government departments, non-government organizations, teachers and students.

The CSBA was pleased to be among witnesses called and were able to present several examples of work being done by school boards across Canada.  Present for the day were Sandi Urban Hall, President of CSBA and of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association at the time, David Birnbaum of the Quebec English School Boards Association and Dr. Wayne MacKay, who has done extensive research for the Nova Scotia School Boards Association.

The report,  Cyberbullying Hurts: Respect for Rights in the Digital Age was released this last month, calling for Canada “to meet its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, by taking necessary actions to protect children from all forms of physical and mental violence, including cyberbullying”.   The federal government intends to step in and coordinate an anti-bullying strategy with provincial and territorial counterparts.  The report demonstrates that focus is needed on prevention, through digital citizenship, information and education.  Promoting awareness and supporting initiatives that have proven effective are among the recommendations made, in addition to addressing the need for a national Children’s Commissioner to coordinate effective approaches.   Punitive legal sanctions, – a rising trend across the country – are continually proving less effective.  Said Senator Mobina Jaffer, chair of the committee. “It takes a whole community approach, the teaching of human rights and digital citizenship by parents, teachers, governments and by youth themselves to change online behavior”.  Canadian school boards are an integral part of that community.

In addition to the report, the Committee created a Guide for Youth and a Guide Parents, educational resource guides that offer responses that can help youth, parents, educators and others involved in cyberbullying at any level.  In both of these guides, there is a summary of the six recommendations from the committee also provided.

The report again is available at  Cyberbullying Hurts: Respect for Rights in the Digital Age and the guides for both youth and parents are available at:

Youth Guide:   http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/411/RIDR/DPK/01Dec12/youth-e.htm

Parents’ Guide:  http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/411/RIDR/DPK/01Dec12/parents-e.htm



MONTREAL, January 2013 –   It was with great sadness that the CSBA received the news from the family of Dr. Roy Wilson, that he passed away peacefully recently from cardio-respiratory issues in Medicine Hat, Alberta.  He was 74 years old.

Roy Wilson was the longest serving school board trustee in Medicine Hat, and the second longest serving trustee in the Province of Alberta.  First elected to the Board of Trustees of School District #76 in 1980, he served continuously from that date, acting as board chairman on three separate occasions.  He was, during the 1990’s, president of both the Alberta School Boards Association and the Canadian School Boards Association.  Dr. Wilson recently completed serving his second term as senator in the University of Alberta Senate.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Roy received his B.Ed, M.Ed and Ph.D from the University of Alberta.  His teaching career began in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1960.  He would go on to teach at schools and colleges in Edmonton, Camrose, the Crowsnest Pass and Medicine Hat, retiring in 2003.

He taught over 5000 students in his tenure, and receiving many honours for his work, including the Alberta Home and School Association’s Presidents Award, the Medicine Hat College Academic Achievement Award, the Alberta Centennial Medal for his service to public education in Alberta, Medicine Hat College’s honourary applied baccalaureate degree and honourary life memberships in the Alberta School Boards Association and the Canadian School Boards Association.  Dr. Wilson also authored numerous articles on local and educational history and was involved in the production of several historical videos.

Active for many years in the local, provincial and national Canadian Music Festival movement, Dr. Wilson was also a long-time board member and past Chairman of the board of the Good Samaritan Society.  And while known throughout the province for his contributions as an educator,  trustee and volunteer, his first dedication was to his family.  He was a deeply devoted husband, father and grandfather.

Sandi Urban Hall, CSBA President, noted that “Roy’s contributions to education and to the Canadian School Boards was substantial and greatly appreciated.  He will be missed by all and his legacy will remain with us”.

A new Vice President at the CSBA


For immediate distribution

CSBA Elects a new Vice President

Montreal, August 25, 2012  -  The Canadian School Boards Association is pleased to announce the election of its new Vice President, Jacquie Hansen of the Alberta School Boards Association. The eight presidents of the provincial school boards associations participated in the special meeting for the CSBA Board of the Directors on August 20, following the resignation of Catherine Fife, former Vice President, who left the association to pursue a career in politics.  Ms. Hansen was elected by acclamation to a one year term, beginning immediately and continuing until July 2012.

Jacquie is in her second term as President, having served three previous years as Vice President of the Alberta School Boards Association.   The ASBA serves 62 school boards – public, separate and francophone representing 600,000 students.  She is serving in her 12th year as a locally elected trustee for the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board where she has served as chair and vice-chair.  She is also an appointed board member of Alberta’s Children Services Ministry (Region 6) advocating on behalf of children and youth at risk.   Jacquie earned a Physical Education degree from University of British Columbia with a minor in English and enjoys music, reading, theatre and the great outdoors.  She and her husband, Dean and four young adult children live in St. Albert where she is actively involved in the community.

Jacquie joins President, Sandi Urban Hall of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association on the CSBA executive.  CSBA plays an important role in advocating for the collective interests of its member provincial associations to other national organizations and the federal government on important educational issues.  The president and newly elected vice president offer an expertise, commitment and determination that will serve the association well in its work in the year ahead.


1410 rue Stanley, Suite 515, Montreal, Quebec,   H3A 1P8

Tel./ 514-289-2988, Fax./ 514-849-9228, www.cdnsba.org

Press Release: Motion 571 Supported in Principle by Canadian School Boards Association


Motion 571 Supported in Principle by CSBA

Montréal, Québec, Oct. 21 - At the October 3rd CSBA Board of Directors meeting in Montreal, provincial presidents unanimously passed a motion to support in principle, Motion 571 (Shannen’s Dream) – a private members bill introduced by MP Charlie Angue (Timmins-James Bay).

The motion calls for recognition and action to address the rights of Aboriginal children to access high quality, culturally-relevant education.

“There is a profound discrepancy between educational experiences of Aboriginal students across the country and those of students who attend our provincial public schools” said Nada Borden, CSBA President.

The CSBA has identified Aboriginal Education as a priority issue. “Student achievement has to mean achievement for every student in every province.  We cannot stand by while one segment of the population is denied access to quality learning environments. Canada is a leader in education achievement world-wide. We should also lead in equity of access to education.”

Further to Mr. Angus’s motion, CSBA through its provincial associations will endeavour to work collaboratively with First Nation leaders to establish stronger governance and resource models.

There is an urgent need to conduct a comprehensive and objective review to identify discrepancies in capital, teacher training and educational resources provided by the Federal government. The gaps are there and they have a direct impact on the achievement potential of Aboriginal students in their own communities and when they enter the provincial system.

Canadian citizens want the best for Aboriginal children and their families and access to quality educational experiences is not only a key to success but a basic human right.


Andrea Prupas, Managing Director