Prince Edward Island gets low grades on "How Canada Performs" Education and Skills report card

Despite high rates of high school and college attainment, PEI gets an overall "D-" grade

OTTAWA, June 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Prince Edward Island ranks behind all other provinces and peer countries on overall education and skills, scoring a "D-" grade on the first "How Canada Performs: Education and Skills" report card to look at provincial performance in an international context.

"Like most other provinces, P.E.I does well on high school and college attainment relative to peer countries," said Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy.

"Unfortunately, P.E.I. slips to the back of the class when it comes to measures of student skills, such as reading, math and science. On measures of adult skills —literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skills — P.E.I.'s results are slightly improved, but the province is not a leader in any indicator."

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Prince Edward Island has a larger share of the population aged 25-64 who have graduated from college than any other province or peer country.
  • Prince Edward Island gets straight "D"s on student skills.

More than 85 per cent of the population of P.E.I. aged 25 to 64 has a high-school diploma, scoring the province an "A" on this indicator. P.E.I. does even better on college attainment, earning an "A+" and ranking first among all provinces and peer countries. In 2011, 28 per cent of Islanders had a college diploma — this is more than three percentage points higher than the rate of college completion for Canada as a whole. In contrast, P.E.I. gets a "C" grade on the proportion of the population aged 25 to 64 with a university degree.

P.E.I. is also the leading province on the share of international students in post-secondary education. In the last five years, P.E.I. more than doubled its number of international students, moving up from a "C" to a "B" grade. The province's above average performance on the share of international students is due to the strength of its college system: 27 per cent of those enrolled in college programs in P.E.I. are international students.

P.E.I.'s performance is dismal on student skills, based on the results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test of 15-year-olds. The province gets "D" or "D-" grades on all six reading, math and science skills indicators. P.E.I. has large shares of student with inadequate skills and small shares with high-level skills.

Adults in P.E.I. do slightly better on skills tests. P.E.I. gets mostly "C" grades on literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills in technology-rich environments.

How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to peer countries in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society.

Released today, and building on previous "How Canada Performs" analyses, the Education and Skills report card is the second of six to be produced over the next year on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. The Economy report card was published in May 2014. The remaining report cards will follow over the next year.

This is the first year that provincial rankings are included in the report cards. Data sources and report card methodology can be found on the How Canada Performs website.

SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca


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