French-language content for this topic on Alberta.ca is currently being developed. Information will remain available on the Alberta Education website until this is complete.
La page correspondante en français est en cours de préparation sur le site Web Alberta.ca. Pendant cette période de transition, l'information qu'elle contient demeure disponible sur le site Web du ministère de l'Éducation.
The Alberta government has a system for school authorities to consistently measure success and progress, called the Accountability Pillar. The Accountability Pillar uses 16 measures that show communities how schools and school authorities are performing each year. Schools and school authorities use the results to identify areas for improvement and to help build their education plans.
This system helps the province, school authorities and schools track successes and improve the quality of education for students. It also helps build a more transparent K to 12 education system, focused on constantly improving across the province.
The Alberta funding system for K to 12 education has 3 parts, or “pillars”:
- equitable funding
School authorities get equitable funding and have flexibility to use their resources to meet students' learning needs. In return, school authorities are accountable for their results and use of resources.
The Accountability Pillar:
- gives schools and school authorities a consistent way to measure their progress using 16 measures
- helps identify areas for improvement and set priorities for the future
- gives schools and school authorities a wide range of performance data
- focuses on more than results from student tests, giving a more complete view of the school system and how it can improve
The data in the Accountability Pillar gives a good idea of school and school authority performance, including successes and potential challenges. Schools and school authorities use the data to find ways to improve student learning and achievement.
Schools and school authorities share their Accountability Pillar results through 3 Year Education Plans (3YEP) and Annual Education Results Reports (AERR).
The Accountability Pillar uses results from:
- Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma Exams
- student, parent and teacher surveys
It also uses the rates at which students:
- drop out of school
- complete high school
- move into post-secondary studies
- are eligible for Rutherford Scholarships
- Annual Dropout and Returning Rates Methodology for Rate Calculation
- Student Outcomes Measures
- Rutherford Scholarship Eligibility Measure
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 a paper or an online version. If parents have more than one student who will receive a survey, they 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. All teachers receive the survey every year.
In small schools (fewer than 120 students in Grades 4 to 12), the survey includes all students in Grades 4 and above, as well as their parents.
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 example – Parent letter (PDF, 90 KB)
- Survey example – Parent survey (PDF, 529 KB)
- Survey example – Teacher survey (PDF, 549 KB)
- Survey example – Grade 4 student survey (PDF, 540 KB)
- Survey example – Grade 7 student survey [PDF 539 KB)
- Survey example – Grade 10 student survey (PDF, 539 KB)
- Accountability Pillar Survey – Methodology for Rate Calculation
The Accountability Pillar includes 16 measures. These measures are evaluated for:
- achievement (how are we doing compared with fixed standards)
- improvement (how are we doing compared to past results)
- overall (a combination of achievement and improvement)
Taken together, this information shows how well each school authority and school is doing to reach their goals. It also shows which areas need more work.
Schools and school authorities get results from the government twice each year. In May, they get results from their surveys and receive updates on student outcome rates calculated by Alberta Education. In October, they get annual summaries of the latest provincial achievement test and diploma exam results.
Accountability Pillar results for the province are posted online after schools and school authorities receive their results.
Planning and reporting
Each year school authorities prepare a 3 Year Education Plan (3YEP) and an Annual Education Results Report (AERR). In the fall, they take their results from the Accountability Pillar and show their progress in their AERR. These results are also used to develop the 3YEP that contains priorities and actions for improvement. Both documents must be posted on school authority websites by November 30 each year.
Both documents help inform parents and communities about how their schools are doing. Government staff also review the AERRs and 3YEPs, and meet with school authorities to help find ways to keep improving student outcomes.
The Government has requirements for school authority planning and reporting, which are updated annually and posted online.
- School Authority Planning and Reporting – Planning cycle
- Performance Measurement in Education
- Setting Targets for Education Performance Measures
- Policy and Requirements for Accredited Funded Private School Authorities
- Policy and Requirements for Charter School Planning and Results Reporting
- Policy and Requirements for School Board Planning and Results Reporting
- Policy and Requirements for Accredited Private School Authority Planning and Results Reporting – Previous requirements
- Policy and Requirements for Charter School Planning and Results Reporting – Previous requirements
- Policy and Requirements for School Board Planning and Results Reporting – Previous requirements
Recent and historical results
October 2018 highlights
Provincial results for October 2018 Accountability Pillar shows:
- significant improvement in Diploma Examination results at the Acceptable Standard and at the Standard of Excellence
- significant improvement in Provincial Achievement Test results at the Standard of Excellence
The following Accountability Pillar reports and summaries are available:
- The complete Provincial Accountability Pillar Report in a single document.
- The overall summary presents results at a glance in a one-page document.
- A summary of results for self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit students.
May 2018 highlights
Provincial results for May 2018 Accountability Pillar measures show significant improvement in Drop out, High School Completion and Diploma Examination Participation rates.
- Of the 45,207 students who were in grade 10 during the 2014-15 school year, 78% completed high school within 3 years, after adjusting for attrition. Compared to the previous 3-year average of 77%, the current result suggests that approximately 430 more students completed high school within 3 years than would have been expected had the rate remained unchanged.
Results for the Safe and Caring, Citizenship and School Improvement survey measures remain strong overall but have declined when compared to historical trends.
To connect with the System Assurance Branch:
Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
System Assurance Branch
System Excellence, Alberta Education
2nd Floor, 44 Capital Boulevard
10044 108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5E6