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Published by the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation

Saskatchewan PISA 2015 Results Require Further Examination

Posted: 12/06/16 3:19pm CST
Photo credit: Joao Silas

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released today the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment 2015 international large-scale test of reading, mathematical and scientific literacy conducted with 15-year-old students. Canada ranked in the top five countries.

“The PISA results for Saskatchewan ranked us 10th in Canada and slightly below the overall average in comparison to all of the countries assessed,” said Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation President Patrick Maze. “This is but one of many types of assessments of our education system, so we need to always keep it within context and take time to examine the data more deeply before reacting.”

Canada was one of the top performers in science, the main focus of the 2015 PISA, ranking fourth among all 72 participating countries and economies, tied with Finland and behind Singapore, Japan and Estonia. Canada also continues to perform well internationally in reading and mathematics. The results reveal that Canada is one of the few countries to achieve both high standards of excellence overall and equity in education outcomes.

The results also show that Saskatchewan 15 year olds performed at the international average in science and reading, but performed below the international average in mathematics and their Canadian counterparts in all the three key subject areas.  In addition, there is a significant (albeit small) decline in Saskatchewan’s average science performance between 2006, the first time full science assessment was conducted, and 2015.

“It is worth noting that OECD identifies some of the factors that may contribute to lower results including social determinants of health. We already know Saskatchewan children are negatively affected by these determinants including high rates of poverty,” said Maze. “These results point to bigger issues that cannot be handled by educators alone and reinforce what teachers have been advocating for years – more timely and accessible educational and inter-sectoral supports for students and their families.”

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