Canadian math, reading performance declines

December 4, 2013

The OECD has released the latest results of its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which measures the math, reading and science scores of 15-year-olds in 65 countries. In math, Canada placed 13th overall with a score of 518, dropping 3 spots from 2009 and 6 spots from 2006. However, the score remains above the OECD average of 494. Canadian students performed slightly better overall in reading and science, placing 6th in reading with 523, and 8th in science with 525 (OECD averages are 496 and 501, respectively). However, these scores place Canada lower in the world standings than in the 2009 PISA results. Quebec leads the country in math scores, well above Canada’s average, while the largest declines in student performance were in Manitoba, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Ontario’s Minister of Education Liz Sandals has issued a statement on the PISA results, saying that “there is still more to do when it comes to student achievement in math” and indicating that the province will focus on improving math education. The head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) John Manley recently warned Canadian Club audience members that numeracy and literacy rates must be improved to ensure graduates can transition into the workforce successfully. PISA Results | Globe and Mail | CMEC Canadian Summary | Ontario News Release