There is an old Jewish proverb that says “Who is wise? He who learns from other people”. The CSBA congress is an opportunity. Our hosts at OPSBA have brought together some brilliant leaders from all over the world to share their experiences with you. In addition, each delegate attending has something to share with you that could change your perspective or show you a way through a problem. We hope you will join us in Niagara Falls July 3-5, 2014 for an outstanding program of professional development and some great networking. Check program info for more everything you need to know.
Aboriginal children under age 14 make up 7% of all children in Canada. The Aboriginal population is the fastest growing demographic in this country and eighty percent of Aboriginal children attend off-reserve provincial schools. In terms of school success, there are significant gaps in learning outcomes and graduation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. How can we create conditions to better support Aboriginal students and their success in our public schools…?
C21 Canada seeks to support the accelerated and effective integration of 21st century skills and competencies, teaching practices and learning technologies into Canada’s education systems. CSBA was proud to submit several nominees for the C21 Shifting Minds National Award for distinctive achievement in the field of 21st Century learning and innovation. Three CSBA nominees won in their category:
Individual Leadership Award: Al Reyner, Principal at Sir John A. MacDonald High School in Boutiliers Point, Nova Scotia for inquiry and project based learning.
System Award Red River Valley School Division, Morris, MB for the use of technology in learning and teaching through the “One to the World” technology initiative.
School Team Award: Sisler High School in Winnipeg, for true innovation in education technology.
The Canadian School Boards Association congratulates the above winners on their efforts to integrate technology and the wqst century skills and competencies into their student’s lives.
The leadership booked for the National Aboriginal Trustees Gathering are respected experts in the field and leave no doubt the program will provide excellent opportunities for all who can attend. For more information, got to NATG2014.
Educators and students should be provided with assessment tools to identify issues and gaps for individual students.
Release date: 10 February 2014
Standardized testing is a contentious issue in Canada, and internationally. There is a large body of literature about these large-scale standardized tests with no consensus on their effectiveness. According to the Canadian Education Association’s latest Facts on Education fact sheet, while there is some support for standardized testing, overwhelmingly, research suggests that it does not lead to improved educational outcomes for students.
To access What is the Value of Standardized Testing, go to Facts On Education – Standardized Testing And for other hot button issues such as, Under what conditions does technology impact learning? Do good grades in high school guarantee post-secondary success? How useful is homework? and Do smaller classes improve learning?, please visit: www.cea-ace.ca/facts-on-education
About The Facts on Education
With a generous sponsorship from the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA), CEA has teamed up with researchers from the University of Prince Edward Island’s Faculty of Education to conduct the research and produce the content. Four more facts sheets focusing on what the research says about the correlation of high school grades and post-secondary success, the impact of technology on classrooms, effective approaches to improving students’ mental well-being, creating conditions for Aboriginal student success in our public schools, and defining what standardized testing is actually measuring, will be distributed throughout the 2013-2014 academic year.
Max Cooke, Director of Communications
Canadian Education Assocation
FEBRUARY 10, 2014: The 2012 PISA results were released in December . The “Programme for International Student Assessment” is run by the Organization for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD). Testing is done every three years since 2000. More than half a million 15-year old students from 65 countries take part in studies assessing their abilities in math, reading and science. While those of us who work in education are always cautious about the weight given to this kind of testing, it is so far, an important indicator of how Canada measures up academically when compared to other countries. And this year, we learned a bit more about Canada’s learners, outside the usual academic portrait.
Bottom line, Canada does very well in this testing. With a mean score of 518, we find ourselves in 10th place. Higher scores ranged from 519 to 613 and were from China, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Finland, Netherlands, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. Our neighbors to the south, the United States ranked in 33rd place with a score of 481.
While we have dropped a few spots (partly as other countries improved their scores), it is certainly fair to say that education systems in Canada remain the envy of countries throughout the world. That is not an accident of history. It is a success built upon the work of locally elected and accountable public school boards for more than a century.
And what school boards realize is that even with success it is always necessary to re-evaluate and improve what we do. This is why trustees are constantly working together throughout this country to share ideas and best practices that will help our students succeed.
The importance of school boards and the history of their success is not always recognized when provincial governments discuss educational policies. But it is school boards and their associations that stand up for students in the face of provincial cut backs to education.
The governance of public education in Canada by locally elected school boards and the advocacy by those boards and their provincial associations has resulted in an education system where:
- More students go on to university and college (51%) than the average of OECD countries (32%).
- Policies and practices have had a positive impact on the extent to which socio-economic status influences student success, Canada being one of only 8 countries which were able to combine high performance with high levels of equity in education.
The bottom line is that the work of Canadian school trustees have produced a system that works. It is the efforts of trustees across this country; listening to their communities and creating the policies and environments that encourage our students to succeed.
The Canadian School Boards Association is proud to support this work.
Ref: PISA 2012 Results in Focus (pisa-2012-results-overview.pdf)
How Canadians Measure Up Internationally (81-590-x2010001-eng.pdf)
While we support a new way forward in First Nations education, when CSBA was invited to submit comments to AANDC regarding the document “Developing a First Nations Education Act: Discussion Guide”, we clearly expressed our concern that the process used to develop the coming legislation had been far too unilateral in approach, with no attempt to co-develop an education system in true partnership with First Nations. The subsequent “Blueprint for First Nations Education” released in July 2013 served only to increase our concerns. In response, CSBA has asked Minister Valcourt to recognize First Nations as a primary or at very least, an equal partner in decisions that will affect their young people going forward, as well as to address other issues such as funding. The full letter sent to the MInister on behalf of Canadian school boards is available at Letter to AANDC.
Take a look at the attached CSBA December Newsletter for an update on what we are working on…
The 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results were released December 3, 2013. Canada has seen a small decline in results but still remains among the best performers internationally, behind only 9 other countries. “PISA 2012 Results in Focus” is a summary document that provides an international prespective, as well as more detailed comparisons of several provinces and how they perform in the three categories (mathematices, reading and science) vis-à-vis international rankings. In addition to showing above average results in the assessment of skills , Canada is also one of several countries demonstrating leadership in “equity in education opportunities.” Worth a look…
Technology in the classroom is a controversial topic. While some educators are embrace technology and have had success integrating it into their practice, others are concerned that the results are not always worth the investment of time, money, and effort. The factors that must be in place for technology to impact learning – based on current empirical evidence – are included in the latest CSBA Sponsored, Facts on Education published by CEA, a relevant, timely, and easy-to-read fact sheet for parents and educators.” See the document here…