Manitoba’s current government substantially changed its standards testing policy when it replaced compulsory tests with mostly optional ones.
Most other Canadian provinces still have compulsory standards tests administered to students at a variety of grade levels.
Under the previous government, all students in Grades 3, 6, 9, and 12 were expected to write standards tests in four core subject areas, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Language Arts. Depending on grade level, these exams counted for a progressively larger percentage of a student’s final mark. This gave Manitoba a testing regime similar to that in Alberta.
The current government abolished the Grade 3 standards tests and made the Grade 6 and 9 standards tests optional. Only Grade 12 tests have remained in place on a compulsory basis.
Manitoba students now write fewer standards tests than their counterparts in any other province except Prince Edward Island.
The current government also cut the budget of the Assessment Branch of the Department of Education by over 60% in the year 2000, and funding levels have remained at about that level since.
These changes have reduced the province’s level of educational accountability.
Educational Accountability in Manitoba – 5 pages (pdf format)