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Canadian high-school students' math skills are declining

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New data shows while Canadian high school students rank among the top-performing of 81 countries in math, science, and reading, math scores in the country are steadily declining.

"We will have less 15 year olds prepare to meet the demands of adult life. It also has to be viewed in terms of our international competitiveness with other countries," says Daniel Ansari, professor at Western University.

More than 23,000 Canadian 15-year-olds nearing the conclusion of their compulsory education took part in the survey.

Ansari suggests in the investment in math education and the investment in teacher development in Southeast Asian countries is 'very loud'.

In an email, the Ontario Ministry of Education told CTV News the government invested more than $27 billion in the school board – more than $700 million more than last year. The email also suggested they added 2,000 more educators doubling the number of math coaches in classrooms, as well as hiring a math lead in every school board along with the creation and deployment of a math action team to drive change and improve math achievement.

The decline in scores is a trend seen in the majority of other participating countries and economies.

The survey runs every three years to assess knowledge and skills. This time around, it took into account the pandemic which put a wrench in education around the world.

"We are doing really well on creating equitable education system. Unlike many countries, we have a very large portion of students that meet minimum standard," Ansari said. 

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