Manitoba was ranked lowest on the PISA results that were released last week. Students in Manitoba scored last in the country in math and science and second-last in reading skills.

MVSD Superintendent Dan Ward says it gives them some data to look at and analyze.

“Obviously, I would have liked our students, provincially, to have done better. However, we do have to keep in mind that it is one test that was administered back in 2018, the sample size is relatively small at 10% roughly across the province.”

Division by division results don't get released.

While giving the reasoning for why Manitoba is low, Ward says the provinces with higher child poverty rates don’t perform as well as provinces with a lower rate.

“I think that, when we look at the issue of student performance both nationally and provincially, we have to take a collective effort to make sure that every student who walks through the doors of one of our schools comes ready to learn and has their basic needs met.”

Ward adds that they have to continually look at ways to improve and says the Mountain View School Division is investing heavily in the numeracy achievement project. Many rural school divisions are participating in the project. MVSD is focusing on student performance data in grade 6, 7, 8, and 9.

Ward wasn’t surprised in the results, saying for some time now, Manitoba has been at the bottom half of the PCAP and PISA results.

 “There have been discussions about how we can improve, not specifically for PISA or PCAP, but as a province. The province introduced a continuous improvement plan a number of years ago where the Department of Education is supporting school divisions in creating targets.“

Ward says the province is well aware they’re ranked in the bottom half, adding it’s a multi-year effort to improve.