Table of contents

Overview

The Alberta government has a system for schools and school authorities to consistently assess progress and demonstrate success called the Assurance Framework. The framework has 5 assurance areas with related performance measures that enable schools and school authorities to show their communities how they are performing each year. Schools and school authorities share their results with their stakeholders through their Annual Education Results Report (AERR) and engage with them to set priorities and build their education plan.

This approach helps the province, school authorities and schools track successes and continuously improve the quality of education for students and supports a transparent, accountable and responsive education system.

Alberta Education’s Assurance Framework came into effect on September 1, 2020, and replaced the Accountability Framework.

Assurance Framework

Assurance and accountability are linked. Alberta’s Assurance Framework is about building public trust and confidence that the education system is meeting the needs of students and enabling their success. Education partners throughout the system must demonstrate they are meeting their responsibilities across 5 assurance areas:

Student Growth and Achievement: The ongoing progress of students’ learning, relative to identified provincial learning outcomes that enable them to engage intellectually, grow continuously as learners, and demonstrate citizenship.

Teaching and Leading: Teachers and leaders apply appropriate knowledge and abilities to make decisions that demonstrate professional practice standards, which result in quality teaching, leading, and optimum learning for all students.

Learning Supports: Using resources to create optimal learning environments where diversity is embraced, a sense of belonging is emphasized and all students are welcomed, cared for, respected and safe.

Governance: Processes that determine strategic direction, establish policy and manage fiscal resources.

Local and Societal Context: Engagement practices that enable the education system to proactively respond to the learning needs and diverse circumstances of all students.

For more information about the Assurance Framework, see Section B, Funding Manual for school authorities.

Planning and reporting

School authorities get equitable funding and have flexibility to use their resources to meet students' learning needs. In return, school authorities are responsible for providing assurance to their local stakeholders, Alberta Education and the public that they are fulfilling their responsibilities and students are successful.

One of the key ways that school authorities demonstrate accountability and provide assurance is through the development and publication of their education plans and AERRs.

Planning and reporting cycle

School authority planning and results reporting is a continuous improvement cycle that involves:

  • Developing plans based on results from provincial and local measures, contextual information and provincial direction
  • Incorporating stakeholder input based on engagement at various points throughout the process
  • Preparing budgets that allocate resources to achieve priorities and meet responsibilities
  • Implementing research and practice-informed strategies to improve performance
  • Monitoring implementation and adjusting efforts as needed
  • Measuring, analyzing and reporting results
  • Using results to identify areas for improvement and to develop strategies for the next plan
  • Communicating and engaging with stakeholders about school authority plans and results

School authority education plans identify priorities, outcomes, measures and strategies to improve in key areas while the AERR provides the results achieved from implementing the plan. The results used to develop the education plan and report performance in the AERR come from provincial and local measures (see Performance Measures).

Engagement and communication

School authorities are expected to engage students, parents, staff and community members in the planning process to establish key priorities and other elements of their education plan. They are also required to share results and report their progress on achieving those priorities.

Education Plans and AERRs are public documents that are posted annually on a school authority’s website by May 31 and November 30, respectively. For more information about these documents and how they are developed, please contact your local school authority.

Local stakeholders, including parents and community members, can support school authority assurance and accountability in a variety of ways, including:

  • Learning about the school and school authority including its operations, programs, supports, and services
  • Participating in priority setting activities
  • Reviewing progress and results achieved
  • Participating in activities to collect their input and feedback, such as the Alberta Education Assurance survey

Review of education plans and AERRs

As part of providing public assurance, Alberta Education staff meet with school authorities to review their education plans and AERRs, and to support their improvement process. Through their education plan and AERR, school authorities are expected to demonstrate that they have:

  • Collected, analyzed and evaluated their performance data
  • Used the results as the basis for their education plan priorities and strategies
  • Engaged stakeholders for setting priorities and sharing progress on them
  • Developed outcomes, measures, and strategies in their education plan to address local goals and system priorities
  • Aligned their budget with their goals and priorities

For more information on school authority planning and results reporting see Section K, Funding Manual for school authorities.

School education plans and AERRs

Schools are expected to:

  • Update their education plan and prepare their AERR annually;
  • Involve their school council in updating the plan and preparing the AERR; and
  • Post their plan and AERR on the school’s or school authority’s website.

School authorities are responsible for ensuring that schools meet these expectations and for determining the specific requirements for school education plans and results reports. For further information about the school and school authority results, education plan and AERR, please contact the school or school authority directly.

Performance measures

Alberta Education Assurance Measures (AEAMs)

Alberta Education assesses performance broadly and consistently across all school authorities. School authorities report their performance on the AEAMs in their AERR and use the results to develop their education plan.

Local component

In addition to the AEAMs, school authorities provide results from local measures and descriptive information aligned with the assurance areas. This local component complements the provincial measures, enabling a balanced assessment of school authority progress and performance.

Required AEAMs and local components

Assurance Area AEAM Local Component
Student Growth and Achievement
  • Provincial Achievement Test results
  • Diploma Exam results
  • High School Completion results
  • Survey measures of Citizenship and Student Learning Engagement
*No required elements for this domain.
Teaching and Leading Survey measure of Education Quality Local measures/data and information demonstrating teaching & leadership quality
Learning Supports Survey measures of Welcoming, Caring, Respectful and Safe Learning Environment and Access to Supports and Services. Local measures/data and information demonstrating:
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success
  • Student access to a continuum of supports and services.
Governance
  • Survey measure of Parent Involvement
  • School authorities report the amount budgeted for past school year, the amount spent and the variance between these amounts for operational expense categories.
Local measures/data and information demonstrating:
  • Effective resource management, including collaboration with other school authorities, municipalities and community agencies.
  • Stakeholder engagement to develop priorities and share progress and results.
Local and Societal Context   Local measures/data and information about the school authority

Supplemental AEAMs

In addition to the required AEAMs, Alberta Education provides results for a number of supplemental measures that school authorities can use for the education plan and AERR, such as:

  • drop out;
  • high school to post-secondary transition; and
  • Diploma Exam participation rates.

Evaluation

AEAMs are evaluated for:

  • achievement: how we are doing compared to fixed standards
  • improvement: how we are doing compared to past results
  • overall: a combination of achievement and improvement

Taken together, this information shows how well each school authority and school are doing to reach their goals. It also shows which areas need more work.

AEAM methodology documents

Alberta Education Assurance (AEA) surveys

Who gets a survey

Each year, the government sends surveys to teachers, students and their parents or guardians. The surveys gather feedback on the quality of education provided by school authorities and their schools. The surveys ask the same questions each year to make sure we measure how schools are performing over time.

Teachers and students complete surveys online. Parents receive a survey by mail and have the option to complete it online or on paper. Parents with more than one student in an eligible grade will receive a separate survey for each child.

In public, separate and Francophone schools, students in Grades 4, 7 and 10, as well as their parents, receive surveys. In schools with fewer than 120 students in Grades 4 to 12, the survey includes all students in Grades 4 and above, as well as their parents. All teachers receive the survey every year.

In most charter and private schools all students in Grades 4 and above, as well as their parents, are included in the survey. All teachers in these schools receive the survey every year as well.

After the surveys are sent

Responding to the survey is voluntary. The surveys give important feedback that helps schools improve, so government encourages Albertans to complete them.

All responses remain anonymous. Results are calculated at the provincial, school authority and school level. Results for groups with fewer than 6 responses are not reported.

Survey examples

Provincial reporting

Results shared here support transparency of the education system.

AEAM results are provided back to schools and school authorities for the purposes of their planning and reporting. For further information about the school or school authority results, education plan and AERR, please contact the school or school authority directly.

There is alignment between select provincial AEAM results and performance measures incorporated in the ministry’s Business Plan and Annual Report. The Annual Report provides comprehensive provincial results analysis and communicates progress towards achieving the outcomes outlined in the Business Plan. The performance measurement framework used in provincial reporting is detailed in the Business Plan and Supplementary Performance Measures Summary (PDF, 474 KB) and Business Plan and Supplementary Measures Backgrounder  (PDF, 201 KB).

Provincial reports

AEAM results will be reported to school authorities according to the Assurance Framework beginning in Spring 2021. Prior to this, provincial measure results were reported according to the Accountability Pillar.

Fall 2020

Participation in Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) and Diploma Examinations were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. There is no Fall 2020 update of the Accountability Pillar results for these measures. The May 2020 (Revised) report and overall summaries reflect the Accountability Pillar data released in May 2020 and the absence of the 2019/20 PAT and Diploma Exam results.

Spring 2020

The following reports and summaries are available:

School jurisdiction summaries

The following summaries are updated in the Fall and present school jurisdiction results at a glance in a one-page document:

Contact

Connect with the System Assurance Branch:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-643-9193
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-638-4197
Email: [email protected]

Address:
System Assurance Branch
System Excellence, Alberta Education
2nd Floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 5E6

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