Island students now among Canada’s best in reading, math, science

Performance of Prince Edward Island’s Grade 8 students in reading, math, and science has moved from among the lowest to among the highest in Canada, according to a national assessment released today.

The Pan-Canadian Assessment Program (PCAP) 2016 indicates that more Island students achieved expectations in reading (91 percent) than in any other province. In addition, Prince Edward Island:

  • is one of five provinces at or above the Canadian average in reading (along with British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec);
  • is one of three provinces at or above the Canadian average in math (along with Ontario and Quebec); and
  • is one of five provinces at the Canadian average in science (along with British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and Quebec). Alberta is above the average.

“These outstanding results indicate that our students are reaching high levels of achievement and are well prepared to succeed during the remainder of their public education and later life,” said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown. “Island students have made tremendous gains as a result of the strategic efforts of our knowledgeable teachers and staff, and the major investments we’ve made in education over the past decade are paying off.”

PCAP assesses the performance of Canadian Grade 8 students in math, reading and science every three years. Students are assessed on common Canadian curriculum outcomes. The latest assessment was taken in the spring of 2016 by 435 Island students (383 English, 52 French).

Minister Brown said principals, teachers and staff are to be commended for the positive results.

“Our students have shown remarkable improvement due to the focused efforts of educators who use provincial assessment data to set school goals, plan interventions and bring precision to teaching that closes learning gaps and raises the achievement bar,” he said. “We will continue to invest in evidence-based resources and professional learning while shaping a public education system that advances excellence for learners.”

Significant investments were made in education while the students who wrote PCAP 2016 were attending Island schools. These investments  include:

  • major investments in teachers and front line staff;
  • professional learning that focuses on the needs of students in classrooms;
  • provincial assessments that provide teachers with valid information on how well students are meeting curriculum outcomes;
  • department and school board leadership;
  • new math curriculum and classroom resources; and
  • well-being supports that help students reach their full learning potential.

 “These results clearly demonstrate what is possible when a small province pulls together -- using good data and best practices – to change the trajectory of student achievement,” said Minister Brown. “Our teachers have moved the markers and brought Prince Edward Island from being one of the lowest to one of the highest achieving provinces in Canada.”

More information on the PCAP assessment is available at Council of Ministers of Education, Canada


 Media contact:
Jean Doherty 



Island students continue to show steady improvement on the PCAP over the past several years:

  • since 2010, PEI students have shown significant improvement in reading, almost double the improvement of any other province;
  • since 2010, Island students have made significant gains in mathematics, more than double the improvement of any other province; and
  • PEI students have shown significant improvement in science achievement since 2013, which was the baseline year for science

Prince Edward Island’s results from PCAP 2016 are consistent with last year’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results, which showed 15-year-olds in Prince Edward Island performing, for the first time:

  • at the Canadian average in reading;
  • improving more than any other province in both reading and math; and
  • achieving the expected level of proficiency in science --  on par with Canada.

General Inquiries

Department of Education and Lifelong Learning
Holman Centre
Suite 101, 250 Water Street
Summerside, PE C1N 1B6

Phone: 902-438-4130
Fax: 902-438-4062