October 25, 2018 12:23 pm

Manitoba breaks down Grade 12 testing numbers for first time in 20 years

Education and training minister Kelvin Goertzen.

File / Global News
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For the first time in almost two decades, the province has released detailed results of standardized Grade 12 math, English, and French testing.

Until 1999, test results were broken down by school division and made public, but since then, the only details available were provincial averages.

The 2018 results, however, include divisional breakdowns once again, along with other demographic information. Graduation rates and some assessments of middle and elementary school students are also included.

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“We want to return to a practice that never should have ended and share this valuable information with parents,” said education and training Minister Kelvin Goertzen Thursday.

“This data will serve as an additional tool to inform them, as we know test results alone don’t reflect the ways a division supports students, and many factors impact a student’s test performance, including years of learning in earlier grades.

“We encourage school divisions to use this information as benchmarks to plan and monitor performances, as well as engage community members on solutions to local issues.”

The provincial tests for language arts and math are required for Grade 12 students at the end of each semester, and the results count toward their final course grades. The provincial results will be used in the K-12 education system review the province will launch in early 2019.

Results were mostly in line with past years, with students staying near the 70 per cent mark on average, provincially, in English and French language arts testing.

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Mathematics scores were not quite as promising. Pre-calculus students scored the highest, with a provincial average of 68 per cent in the 2018 testing, but essential and applied math students were closer to the 50 per cent mid-point.

Some divisions did better than others, with divisions like Portage la Prairie seeing some of the lowest math results and Winnipeg School Division – the province’s largest – sticking relatively close to provincial averages across all tests.

“Sharing these results reflects our government’s commitment to greater transparency and public engagement, and helps us understand where we need to focus our efforts,” said Goertzen.

The full results, which can be broken down by division and testing category, can be found online at www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/grad_rates/sd/

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