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NDP should ignore calls to scrap participation in international exams and testing

Today, Wildrose Shadow Education Minister Mark Smith called on the NDP government to resist calls to put an end to international standardized testing programs and to develop policies that aim at improving education outcomes for students.

Smith said that there is a value in being able to see if the trends in our provincial testing through Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma Exams are matched by results garnered from international testing on exams like the PISA exam.  

“These test scores are crucial in evaluating where our education system stands in an increasingly globalized world,” Smith said. “Alberta students and teachers have benefited from an education system that has been accountable and transparent.  What we need to do is work collaboratively in establishing solutions to give students the tools they need to succeed both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Wildrose has long called for affirming the importance of standardized testing in Alberta’s education system and improving transparency concerning student results so parents have the information they need to make decisions regarding their children’s education.

“Instead of trying to remove important international or provincial standardized testing, we should be asking questions about why our test results continue to decline,” Smith said. “We have a chance to get the current review of our curriculum system right and get back to a place where Alberta is once again a global leader. Let’s not miss this opportunity.”