At DEFT Learning Academy, we recognize the important function that education serves in empowering students of all ages to strive for a brighter future and a better world.  This web page has been created with the parallel interests of like-minded educators, faculty members, teachers, and parents in mind.  It is intended to be a central point of contact and repository for information and articles related to education. The content will therefore be updated from time to time.

2018 PISA Results:

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial survey (administered under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD) of 15-year-old students that assesses the extent to which they have acquired the key knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society. The assessment focuses on proficiency in reading, mathematics, science and an innovative domain (in 2018, the innovative domain was global competence), and on students’ well-being.  The results of the 2018 assessment were released earlier this week.  A PDF file that presents a (Canada) country note is attached to this EMail message.  An Internet link to the document is accessible here:

A few noteworthy observations as outlined in the recent PISA report include:

  • Students in Canada scored higher than the OECD average in reading, mathematics and science.
  • Compared to the OECD average, a larger proportion of students in Canada performed at the highest levels of proficiency (Level 5 or 6) in at least one subject; at the same time a larger proportion of students achieved a minimum level of proficiency (Level 2 or higher) in at least one subject.
  • In Canada, performance declined in mathematics (since 2003) and in science (since 2006) by about 10 score points or more per decade.
  • Canada’s Mean score in Reading was 520, Math – 512, and Science – 518 … all down from 534, 532, and 534, respectively since 2000.

Research about - and impact of - school absenteeism:

Mainstream media has recently shone a light on the impact that chronic absenteeism has on a student’s academic performance. Research and associated findings have been compiled to reflect that students who miss more than 10% (or approx. 18 days) of an academic year are negatively affected. Several articles have been published about this; one discussion piece may be accessed here:

Report Card on Ontario's schools:

The Frasier Institute's 'Report Card on Ontario's Elementary Schools, 2019' has been published. The full report may be accessed here:

The Report Card on Ontario’s Elementary Schools 2019 collects a variety of relevant, objective indicators of school performance into one, easily accessible public document so that anyone can analyze and compare the performance of individual schools. By doing so, the Report Card assists parents when they choose a school for their children and encourages and assists all those seeking to improve their schools.  Specifically,

  • The Report Card helps parents choose
  • The Report Card facilitates school improvement: Some schools rank more favorably than others, and comparisons are at the heart of the improvement process.

A comprehensive (searchable) comparison of Secondary school rankings is available at the following Internet link:

2018.05.01 Toronto Star report:  Grade 8 math scores climb across Canada except Ontario, report finds: 
The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada report found the province’s students’ performance in math remained the same — middling.

The report may be accessed at the following Internet link:

2017 EQAO results report ... from the Huffington Post.

Comparative ranking of Ontario Elementary schools (Source: Fraser Institute):

Comparative ranking of Ontario Secondary schools (Source: Fraser Institute):

Results of the 2015 OECD PISA Study: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) evaluates the quality, equity, and efficiency of school systems. By identifying the characteristics of high-performing education systems, PISA allows governments and educators to identify effective policies that they can then adapt to their local contexts.  An excerpt from the OECD PISA study document is available here.  The 2015 OECD PISA Study document may be accessed - in its entirety - at the following Internet link: 2015 OECD PISA Study

Results of the 2015 IEA TIMSS & PIRLS Study: The International Association for the Evaluation of Academic Achievement (IEA) conducts comparative - and international - assessments of student achievement at regular intervals of time.  The TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study) together comprise the core cycle of studies for IEA.  Excerpts of the results for the 2015 TIMSS studies may be found in the following documents: TIMSS Grade 4 Math, TIMSS Grade 8 Math. Information on the 2016 PIRLS Grade 4 and Grade 8 Literacy international assessments is forthcoming.

For detailed information, refer to the 2015 TIMSS & PIRLS Studies Internet link.

Article: 'How to Evaluate Reading Errors to Identify Deficiencies...'

Article (National Post, Sept. 2016) on the importance of understanding math concepts in solving word problems: 'Half of Ontario's Grade 6 students failed to meet the provincial standard for math'