Champions in mathematics, Quebec students have lower reading results than the Canadian average. In science, they even find themselves on the back of the pack.
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The Council of Ministers of Education yesterday released the results of the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program comparing the performance of second-secondary students in mathematics, reading and science across the country.
30,000 students from 10 Canadian provinces participated in 2019, the last comparable estimate being made in 2016.
Quebec students continue to top the Canadian rankings in mathematics, far ahead of Ontario.
In this regard, we do not notice a significant difference between the results for boys and girls, boys do better than the rest of Canada.
The picture is very different to read, though: Quebec students who were ranked fifth in 2016 are now ranked eighth, much lower than the Canadian average.
However, the decline may be contextual, as results are up compared to 2010.
In science, sinking is important: Quebec students now rank last in the country after taking third place in 2016.
In these two subjects, the results were higher for girls than for boys, as in the majority of Canadian provinces.
Successgide Royer, an expert on academic success, is surprisingly poor at reading results.
“I imagine we should be on par with Ontario,” he said, with the neighboring province in the front row.
Mathematics and reading results are particularly important because they represent two “big expectations” of academic success, he says.
Isabelle Plante, a professor of education at UQAM, considers the results of Quebec students’ reading to be very disappointing.
In general, she emphasizes that academic success in mathematics and science is more valuable than in French.
Mrs. Plante is also surprised that girls excel in science more than boys.
“This is not a reflection of what we see in other surveys,” said Canada Research Chairperson on Gender Differences in Schools.
This UQAM professor also insisted on highlighting the excellent results of Quebec students in mathematics.
“We must be congratulated. It is a very social task for teachers,” she said.
Source: Pan-Canadian Assessment Program Conducted by Council of Education, Canada