Time for a National Celebration .

Letter to the Editor. Globe and Mail

Re: Canadian teens ace OECD test—- From front page to back pages
On Dec 3, 2013 the Globe and Mail lead article was titled, “Canada’s fall in math-education ranking sets off alarm bells”. John Manley, CEO and president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives had declared, “This is on the scale of a national emergency.” He was referring to the fact that Canada fell from 9th to 13th out of 65 countries on the recent PISA rankings in mathematics. It was followed by weeks of lament about our ” devastating” decline.

While I appreciate and support the need to debate and improve our math instruction, yet I am disappointed that the Globe and Mail relegated the impressive new OECD, PISA results, “Canadian Teens Ace OECD”, to a small story on page four.

Canada outperformed all western countries, all English speaking countries in problem solving and ranked third overall out of 45 countries ( excluding Asian city data), yet it is relegated to a buried article! There was no mention that Ontario, Alberta, and BC did even better, provinces where the public outcry from our decline in rankings in math has forced curriculum changes.

Also unreported on this test of problem solving skills, is that Canada’s achievement gap between the rich and poor, and immigrant groups continues to be the narrowest of any country in the world. (on every measure of educational achievement, on every international test). A staggering achievement! It is a primary goal of our public educational system to not only raise the achievement of all students, but to narrow the gap in achievement between the advantaged and less advantaged.
Back pages! Has the Globe no national pride? After filling the paper for weeks with “chicken little” stories emanating from Manley’s shrill cry of a “national emergency”, this new OECD PISA story is cause for a front page national celebration!

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