By Kate Jackman–Atkinson, Neepawa Banner & Press
NEEPAWA, Man. — Turns out, improving the skills of Manitoba students isn’t as easy as A-B-C. This week, the results of the 2016 Pan-Canadian Assessment (PCAP) of reading, science and math were released, and students and educators in this province got some good news and some bad. While Manitoba students’ skills have improved, they still lag behind those in other provinces.
The PCAP is a national standardized test administered by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. The test is given every three years to a random sample of 30,000 Grade 8 students across the country. Because curriculum varies from province to province, the test focuses on the core areas of reading, science and math. It’s designed to determine if students in different provinces achieve the same level of proficiency at the same time. In addition to the test results, the assessment also includes a questionnaire to collect “contextual information.” This includes questions about demographics, socioeconomic factors and teaching and learning conditions, which can help interpret results. The first test was conducted in the spring of 2007. The testing program is designed to help provincial education ministries monitor and assess their educational systems.