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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
  • flexibility
  • accountability

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).



Data used

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



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 examples

Measure evaluation

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.

Business Plan and supplementary measures

The Ministry’s annual report provides comprehensive provincial results and communicates progress towards achieving the outcomes in its business plan.

Together with the measures in the business plan, supplementary measures reflect a comprehensive assessment of the main elements of the education system.

Provincial reporting

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.

Planning documents

Recent and historical results

Provincial highlights

Participation in Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) and Diploma Examinations were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. There is no October 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.

May 2020 (Revised) highlights

The following Accountability Pillar reports and summaries are available:

October 2019 highlights

The following Accountability Pillar reports and summaries are available:

Provincial reports

May 2020 (Revised) Accountability Pillar Results

Jurisdiction reports

School Jurisdiction summaries/reports


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]

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