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prada Albertas Grade 4 reading scores stumble in international test
Posted by: ki7x2y0j (IP Logged)
Date: September 14, 2014 11:22PM

Alberta's Grade 4 reading scores stumble in international test
CALGARY Alberta's vaunted international standing in education suffered a blow Tuesday with the release of a multi nation study that shows Grade 4 students in the province reading at a lower level than just five years earlier,[url=http://www.pradaoutletonlineb@#$%&/]prada@#$%&[/url].
Not only did Alberta test scores slip to the Canadian average in the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, the province dipped to 12th in the world from its highly touted 3rd place ranking half a decade ago.
One teaching expert argues the cause is likely increasingly complex Alberta classrooms, with greater numbers of special needs students and pupils learning to speak English.
But the results will fuel the concerns of others in the education field who worry Alberta is stumbling compared to its past achievements and is being outpaced by other jurisdictions.
"I'm embarrassed by (the results), as a province,[url=http://www.oakleysunglasses-outletcheap@#$%&/]oakley crosslink[/url]," said Jim Dueck, a former assistant deputy minister in charge of assessment who retired two years ago. "Alberta has always been the top in Canada and very close to the top in the rest of the world."
Ramped up spending on education over the past decade has failed to deliver better results, he said. The problem,[url=$%&/]@#$%&[/url], he said, is small class size has been overemphasized, while attention to accountability and assessment has declined.
The international test regime compares 45 countries and nine Canadian provinces. In Alberta, 4,[url=]mont blanc pen[/url],000 Grade 4 students wrote the test.
In 2006, Alberta was the best performing in Canada, with an average score of 560. Last year's test average fell to 548, leaving Alberta behind British Columbia and Ontario,[url=http://www.mcmhandbags-backpack@#$%&/]mcm bag[/url], and slightly back of Nova Scotia. Alberta was ahead of Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and New Brunswick.
Hong Kong topped the international list. Alberta ranks slightly behind England, and just ahead of the Netherlands.
This comes as 2011 test scores in two other international studies, on science and mathematics in Grades 4 and 8,[url=$%&/]red sole shoes[/url], reveal a mixed bag for the province.
Alberta math scores were flat from four years ago, and trailed Ontario and Quebec (the two other provinces examined),[url=]sac longchamp @#$%&[/url], which for the most part posted improved results.
Science scores were much stronger, and Alberta remained near the top in the world, ahead of Quebec and Ontario. Grade 4 results,[url=]celine sunglasses[/url], however, did not improve from 2007.
Why math and science results have hardly budged,[url=http://www.cheapnfljersey-outlet@#$%&/]seahawks jerseys[/url], and reading scores have dropped, is hard to tell from the results.
But one expert said he suspects it has a lot to with changes in the classroom in the past five years: more special needs,[url=$%&/]uggs slippers[/url], English language learners,[url=]www.toms@#$%&[/url], and larger class sizes in some areas.
Philip McRae, an executive staff officer with the Alberta Teachers' Association,[url=$%&/]tiffanys[/url], argues in light of that, the test scores are actually good news.
"If you look over the period of 2006 to 2012, we've had massive change in the demographics in our classrooms," he said.
He also disputes that accountability has decreased, saying the use of data and assessment has never been more pronounced.
For years, Alberta governments have boasted about the strong performance of provincial students in international tests.
So declining reader scores have officials scratching their heads and will prompt some drilling down into the data to figure out what's going on.
"The big message for us is we can't rest on our laurels and we can't just assume that (because) we are one of the best systems today that we'll stay that way," said Kim Capstick,[url=]karen millen dresses[/url], press secretary for Education Minister Jeff Johnson.
She also defends the amount spent on education. Alberta is paying its teachers well and money has been poured into building new schools, she said.
Tuesday's findings come at a particularly crucial time. The new Education Act passed this fall,[url=]moncler outlet[/url]. And the provincial government and school boards are in the midst of reshaping how students are taught.
There's a curriculum redesign by the province, as schools boards increasingly emphasize a "personalized learning" approach.
Of particular note in the study is that Canadian students, including those in Alberta, scored much better in "literary reading," such as a story, than they did in "informational reading," such as a science text.
John Rymer, a former director of assessment at Alberta Education,[url=http://www.moncler-jackets@#$%&/]moncler outlet[/url], said informational reading is meant to draw out information and is a useful skill when dealing with technical reading and manuals.
"It's quite a significant difference in terms of the skills that kids have for reading at that level," Rymer said.

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