[Merry Christmas]

Merry Christmas!!

I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing day.

Note: Image from Nick Thompson on Flickr.


[ontario students = some of world's best readers]

Image from EQAO

December 7, 2010
Attention: News editors, education reporters
TORONTO, December 7, 2010—Ontario’s are among the top-achieving students in reading according to the results of the 2009 administration of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), in which students from 75 jurisdictions around the globe, including all Canadian provinces, participated. Only Shanghai, China had better reading achievement than Ontario and the six other jurisdictions with the same results. These are among the highlights released today by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), which coordinated the province’s participation on behalf of the Government of Ontario. The international program, which is undertaken every three years, assesses the skills of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics and science.
The results of PISA 2009 also show that Ontario’s education system has been more successful than most at developing strong reading skills in its students while at the same time reducing the effects of socio-economic challenges. Ontario is among the few jurisdictions in the world with both high achievement in reading and a relatively small performance gap between students from high- and low-income households.
“Today’s results are further proof that our students are developing the reading skills they will need to participate effectively in the increasingly globalized world and workforce of the 21st century,” said Brian Desbiens, Chair of EQAO’s Board of Directors. “They are also evidence that Ontario’s attention to literacy, early identification and tracking of struggling students and targeted interventions to support them have positioned its students in the group of top-performing students in Canada and around the world.”
While Ontario students are achieving well and holding their own in relation to other countries and provinces in mathematics and science, they are not among the top global achievers in these two areas of learning. In mathematics, students from seven jurisdictions, including Quebec, performed significantly better than Ontario students, and in science, those from five other jurisdictions, including Alberta, had better results. These results are reinforced by EQAO’s provincial test data, which show no substantive changes in mathematics achievement among Ontario’s English-language elementary school students over the past five years.
“This newest set of data underscores the importance of continued attention to student development in math and science,” stated Marguerite Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of EQAO. “Certainly Ontario’s success with reading achievement is a testament to our collective ability to drive purposeful improvement in our schools.”
Highlights of Ontario results are available at www.eqao.com. The OECD has published a full international report for PISA 2009, and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, which oversaw Canada’s participation in this study, has released a report on Canadian achievement.

Additional Ontario Results
  • Ontario's were among the top achieving students of those in the 75 jurisdictions participating in the 2009 PISA reading assessment.
  • Only ShanghaiChina had reading results that were significantly higher (statistically) than Ontario's and the six other jurisdictions with the same results.
  • Of all Canadian provinces, Ontario was the only one with achievement significantly higher (statistically) than the Canadian average.
  • Ontario students performed significantly better than the Canadian average in all five reading subscales (accessing and retrieving, integrating and interpreting, reflecting and evaluating, continuous texts, non-continuous texts).
  • Of Ontario students, 92% met or exceeded PISA's achievement benchmark at which students begin to demonstrate the kind of knowledge and skills needed to use reading competencies effectively. This compares to the 91% of students in Alberta and British Columbia, the 90% of Canadian students and the 81% of students across the OECD that achieved this benchmark.
  • Of the 75 jurisdictions participating in the 2009 PISA mathematics assessment, seven had results that were significantly higher (statistically) than Ontario's.
  • Ontario's achievement in mathematics was at the Canadian average, along with British Columbia's and Alberta's.
  • Of all participating Canadian provinces, only Quebec performed significantly better than Ontario.
  • Of the 75 jurisdictions participating in the 2009 PISA science assessment, five had results that were significantly higher (statistically) than Ontario's.
  • Ontario student achievement in science was at the Canadian average, along with that of students in British Columbia, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
  • Of the Canadian provinces, only Alberta performed significantly better than Ontario.


[post doc fellowship in communications: Iowa]

Image from Luther College.


POSITION: Post-doctoral Teaching Fellow in Communication Studies
(2-year appointment)

BEGINNING DATE: Late August 2011

QUALIFICATIONS: Ph.D. is required by September 1, 2011

RESPONSIBILITIES: The post-doctoral teaching fellowship allows a new
Ph.D. to develop skills teaching in the liberal arts setting with a
slightly reduced course load and greater mentoring opportunities.
Duties include teaching several of the following courses: Introduction
to Mass Media, Media Production Concepts, and/or Internet & American
Life. Willingness to develop new courses in digital media or media
production, and to participate in interdisciplinary programs, would be

SALARY: Commensurate with academic qualifications and professional experience.

Luther College, a Phi Beta Kappa institution affiliated with the
Lutheran Church (ELCA), is committed to fostering cultural diversity
in its faculty, staff, and students, and so we welcome applications
from the widest range of candidates who meet the qualifications listed
above.  Women and persons of diverse ethnic backgrounds are especially
encouraged to apply.  Excellent teaching is of paramount importance.
Additional information about the college is available by visiting the
college website:  www.luther.edu.

Review of applications begins immediately and continues until position
is filled.  The successful applicant will be required to complete
Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 of the U.S. Immigration
and Naturalization Service.  All correspondence including letter of
application, curriculum vitae, evidence of teaching effectiveness,
syllabi, three letters of recommendation, and official transcripts of
undergraduate and graduate work should be sent to:

Dr. Kimberly Powell, Search Committee Chair
Department of Communication Studies
Luther College
700 College Drive
Decorah, Iowa 52101
Telephone:  319/387-1362
Fax:  319-387-1336
E-mail: powellki@luther.edu