FREDERICTON (GNB) – The 2017-18 provincial assessment results are now available.

“Transparency in reporting on student achievement is a priority for the government,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “I am pleased to share the most recent results with New Brunswickers.”

Provincial assessments are done yearly for reading, writing, math, science and French. Results are provided to parents, schools and school districts. Teachers, administrators and school district staff use the results to target improvements and interventions in these subject areas.

In recent months, department staff from the anglophone and francophone sectors have been collaborating to establish a common methodology for analyzing assessment results, building on long-standing practices and successes in the francophone sector.

In the anglophone sector, 80.6 per cent of Grade 9 students were successful on the provincial reading assessment. This continues a gradual improvement since the assessment was first written in 2006, when 59.9 per cent of students were successful.

Results in Grade 2 reading dropped slightly. Analyses are being done at the school and district levels, and plans will be developed to address a downward trend in recent years.

Assessments in Grade 10, which were reported this year for the first time, indicate about 64 per cent of students were successful in mathematics and scientific literacy.

For the first time, students in Grade 4 wrote a provincial assessment in reading, mathematics and science. This year’s test was part of the pilot phase, which is intended to assess the appropriateness of test items, and does not generate results of student achievement. The official assessment will be implemented in the spring of 2019, with results available next fall.

In the francophone sector, provincial assessment results are relatively stable at the elementary level in French, mathematics and science. At the high school level, student achievement is down slightly in Grade 11 French and Grade 10 mathematics in Path A. However, the results for Grade 10 mathematics in Path BC have increased significantly each year over the past four years.

Following a consultation, the provincial student assessment program is undergoing a review that began in 2016-17. Recommendations from the review will be used to make the assessments a more helpful tool for students, including through early diagnosis and intervention in literacy and numeracy.

Results of the Pan-Canadian Assessment Program and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) at the middle and high school levels indicate that more than 80 per cent of New Brunswick students were successful in mathematics and science. On the PISA assessment, 84 per cent of Grade 10 students were successful in science.

“While these results are positive in some areas, we know there is an opportunity to improve in others, such as the Grade 2 reading performance where we have committed to achieving an 85 per cent literacy target by 2022,” said Cardy. “That is why our goal is to bring much-needed stability to the education system and have more education decisions made by teachers in classrooms rather than by politicians in Fredericton.”

Highlights from the 2017-18 results include:

Anglophone sector

  • 71.3 per cent of Grade 2 anglophone students were successful on the provincial reading assessment.
  • 61.1 per cent of Grade 6 anglophone students were successful on the provincial reading assessment.
  • 80.6 per cent of Grade 9 anglophone students were successful on the provincial reading assessment.

Francophone sector

  • 75.1 per cent of Grade 2 francophone students were successful on the provincial oral reading assessment.
  • 62.6 per cent of Grade 3 francophone students were successful on the provincial reading assessment.
  • 74.4 per cent of Grade 8 francophone students were successful on the mathematics assessment.

Under the 10-year education plans, student achievement targets have been set for 2025. The goal is to have 85-90 per cent of students reach the appropriate level of success.

A performance management process is used to establish objectives and track progress. Before the beginning of each school year, the department works with school districts and key early childhood partners to develop an implementation plan for each sector, which outlines objectives for the year and how goals will be met. In turn, progress is measured and accountability reports are completed.

The government’s 10-year education plans aim to improve educational outcomes and better prepare young people for the future. They set objectives in priority areas to encourage students to become lifelong learners, create an inclusive learning environment, support educational leaders and bring stability to the system.