TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - A major new report released today by the
Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), indicates that over
90 per cent of Canadian students in Grade 8 are achieving at or above
their expected level of performance in mathematics. Almost half are
achieving above their expected level.
The Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) was created by ministers of
education in 2003 to serve as a national report card on how well
Canadian youth are doing in core learning subjects. It complements
assessments in each province and territory and ensures that student
performance can be compared across the country. PCAP is also aligned
with key international studies in which Canada participates such as the
OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
For PCAP 2010, close to 32,000 Grade-8 students from over 1,600 schools
across the country were tested. Math was the major focus of the
assessment. Math performance levels were developed in consultation with
independent experts in education and assessment and align broadly with
internationally accepted practice. Science and reading were also
"Today's PCAP results are good news for students, parents, and teachers
alike," said the Honourable Ramona Jennex, Chair of CMEC and Nova
Scotia's Minister of Education. "They confirm that Canadian youth are
acquiring the foundational math skills they need as they move ahead to
secondary and postsecondary education."
Some key findings from the report:
In math, there was no significant difference in the performance of girls
and boys at the national level. However, more boys than girls were able
to demonstrate high-level math knowledge and skill proficiency.
For Canada as a whole, girls performed better than boys in both science
and reading. More variation was seen at the provincial and territorial
In most provinces and territories, students in minority-language school
systems outperformed students in majority-language systems in
mathematics. This was reversed, however, for reading, where students in
majority-language school systems outperformed students in
minority-language systems. There was generally no significant
difference by language in science performance.
The current nine-year cycle of PCAP began in 2007. With PCAP 2010, some
analysis over time is now possible in the area of reading skills. Data
for 2010 suggest that overall performance has declined somewhat from
2007, in particular in French-language school systems. As in 2007,
girls in 2010 continue to outperform boys in reading.
"Ministers of Education have long recognized the need for transparent,
comparable information about provincial and territorial education
systems," said Minister Jennex. "PCAP is in fact just one of a number
of pan-Canadian and international data survey instruments coordinated
by CMEC that provide us with the data we need to make informed policy
and program decisions about education in Canada."
PCAP 2010 also collected extensive contextual information from
questionnaires completed by students, teachers, and principals. This
information will be published in the coming months and should offer
insight into some of the factors that may influence student
The next iteration of PCAP is already under way. PCAP 2013 will focus
mainly on science; mathematics and reading will also be assessed.
Founded in 1967, CMEC is the collective voice of Canada's ministers of
education. It provides leadership in education at the pan-Canadian and
international levels and contributes to the fulfillment of the
constitutional jurisdiction for education conferred on the provinces
and territories. For more information, visit us at www.cmec.ca.
SOURCE Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
For further information:
Tel.: 416-962-8100, ext. 259