Oct. 13, 2009
BATHURST (CNB) - Grade 2 students in the province continue to show steady progress in literacy, according to the latest provincial assessment results released today by Education Minister Roland Haché.
On the 2009 provincial assessments, 82 per cent of English Prime students have met or surpassed expectations in reading. This represents an increase of six percentage points over last year. As well, 85 per cent of French Immersion students met the reading standard, an increase of two percentage points over the previous year.
Government's goal is for 90 per cent of students to leave Grade 2 with the ability to read at the appropriate level, with 20 per cent of those at the strong achievement level. Students have already exceeded this latter goal.
"These literacy results show that our government's focus on early literacy, and the hard work by teachers and district staff, is starting to make a difference for our students," said Haché. "Our next challenge is to produce the same gains in math and science through our NB3 initiative."
In 2008, government implemented the NB3 strategy in the education system to ensure that its programs and services were focused on improving student achievement in the areas of literacy, math and science. This effort includes directing funding toward school leadership and teacher-training programs in NB3 objectives. Another component of NB3 is an overhaul of the curricula in these subjects to ensure a focus on essential learning and key result areas.
The 2009 anglophone-sector assessments were released during Haché's tour of Parkwood Heights Elementary School in School District 15. Grade 2 students in the English program there had one of the largest jumps in literacy scores, with an 18-percentage-point increase in reading.
"Our literacy teams at the district and school levels have made a commitment to provide the best possible classroom experiences for our children," said John McLaughlin, District 15 superintendent. "As a professional learning community, we are collecting and analyzing data about our students' strengths and their challenges, and we are refining our own abilities to use this information to improve instruction. Parkwood Heights, like all of our elementary schools, has proven that this approach will nurture strong readers and writers."
The school has employed specific strategies to help raise achievement results in literacy. These include providing individualized instruction and supports to meet each child's developmental needs, and planning instructional programs for students as a professional learning community.
For the second consecutive year, provincial assessment data have been released to the public. The report cards show provincial assessment results for the schools from 2006-09, as well as the provincial targets. They may be viewed online.
In the past, these school report cards have traditionally been given to superintendents, district education councils, school administrators and teachers, but not to parents. The Report on Achievement was introduced last year as part of government's commitment in the education plan, When kids come first, to create an education system that is both accountable and transparent.
"Reporting on provincial assessments enables principals and their staffs to identify challenges at their schools and set improvement targets, and provides parents with important feedback on how well their children are doing in key subject areas," said Haché.
MEDIA CONTACT: Hillary Casey, communications, Department of Education, 506-471-7654.