Alberta students best in Canada at reading, science, worldwide test results show

Cheryl Sanders
December 4, 2019

"On a scale of 0 to 1,000, average scores in science literacy across the education systems ranged from 590 points in B-S-J-Z (China) to 336 points in the Dominican Republic", NCES noted.

PISA 2018's 600,000 participating students (intended to represent 32 million 15-year-olds), were evaluated in science and mathematics, however reading was the main focus of the assessment, the OECD said.

Allowing for differences between national student samples, the Irish can claim to be between first and fifth in the OECD, generally the most highly developed economies in the world.

Amin said the Pisa 2018 which involved 6,111 participants selected to represent 388,638 of 15-year-old students in the country, also showed that they only read when they were forced to or for a specific objective rather than as an interest.

Top 3 in all three categories for PISA 2018.

In Tuesday's release of the global 2018 Pisa education ranking, Norwegian teens regressed by 14 points for reading, while the science score was 8 points worse in 2018 than in 2015.

In both reading and math, the top 10 percent of students have performed significantly better since 2012.

'Our students should be ranked among the best in the world.

The results revealed Estonia was the highest-performing OECD country in reading and science, while Japan topped results in maths.

Greece's score dropped from 467 points in 2015 to 457 previous year in the category of reading and comprehension.

The PISA, administered by the OECD, is a triennial survey of 15-year-old students that assesses the extent to which they have acquired key knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society.

The gap between the highest and lowest performing students is widening, despite $1 trillion in Federal spending over 40 years designated specifically to help close it.

Amin said the difference in reading behaviour between boys and girls showed that 77 per cent of boys read only for the information needed compared to 58 per cent of girls reading for the same goal.

As MOE has put in place measures to reduce the emphasis on grades, he said: "It would be interesting to look at the next Pisa results to see if these changes will change the way parents and students think". "We take part in Pisa to learn important areas of improvement for ourselves". The ranking of US students improved only because the scores of students in other countries dropped.

Among the other findings in Pisa were that socio-economic background has a significant effect on pupil attainment.

Amin said the OECD reports also recorded a drop in the use of printed materials.

"The right things, they're there, but they're actually a bit piecemeal", she said.

"Evolving technologies have changed the ways people read and exchange information, whether at home, at school or in the workplace".

Michael Johnston, the associate dean (academic) of Victoria University's School of Education, said classroom disruption could be partly to blame for New Zealand's position and he believed the teaching of reading in primary schools also needed more attention.

"My appeal to them is that everyone has to work together to turn this around", he said.

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