PG Superintendent of Schools Reacts to Global Education Survey
Prince George, B.C. – Students in British Columbia performed well in a triennial global survey that tests the knowledge of 15-year-old students.
In 2015 over half a million students representing students in 72 countries (and all 10 Canadian provinces) participated in the two-hour Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
Students were assessed in science, math, reading, collaborative problem solving and financial literacy.
B.C.’s grade 10 students were tops in reading, second in science and sixth in math – each an improvement over the last time students were tested in 2012.
In math rankings, only Quebec finished ahead of B.C. within Canada. In science, only Singapore outperformed B.C. statistically, while B.C. students achieved the highest score in reading.
In the 2012 survey, B.C. students performed second in reading, third in science and 10th in math. You can view the complete rankings by clicking here.
Prince George School District superintendent of schools Marilyn Marquis-Forster was pleased with the results.
“Well, as an educator the PISA results showing that Canadian students are doing well in comparison to their global counterparts is always a good news story,” she said. “Canada being in the top four performing countries is welcome news but it’s not necessarily unexpected. We’d be pretty upset if Canadian students were losing ground compared to their international counterparts.”
(She suspects students in the Prince George School District participated in the survey but can’t confirm it because she was working in Manitoba in 2015. She notes participating students were chosen randomly).
She attributes the success to several factors.
“A stable economy, a stable political environment, cultural and social support of learning – these are key factors in producing a high quality public education system and of course Canada enjoys those benefits,” said Marquis-Forster. “We are very proud of the Canadian results because equity in Canada is pretty strong and that’s something I believe that Canadians expect from their public education system.”
But that’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement.
“I think it’s important to remember that these are huge, broad range assessments. They tell us how generally Canadian kids are doing, they tell us how generally B.C. kids are doing compared to the rest of Canada and those are points of pride,” she said.
“They do not necessarily say that school district 57 has yet reached the goal we want for them. It doesn’t mean we don’t have places where we can still improve. And it doesn’t mean we can sit back and say ‘oh well, Canada always does well, we have nothing to do.’ We still see lots of work to do and are absolutely committed to continuous improvement.”