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Education Ticker: Canadian education makes up for inequalities

An analysis of American scores in math and reading argues that the U.S. trails other countries because it has sharper social inequalities.

KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS

The best of the web on education from kindergarten to postsecondary, as chosen by Globe and Mail education editor Simona Chiose.

Poor U.S. education scores due to social inequality

Canada has been justifiably proud of its international math and reading scores, particularly in the OECD's assessments through PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). Now, a new study suggests that Canada scores as well as it does because our education system compensates better than others for societal inequities. A new study that tries to account for how much U.S. scores suffer as a result of that country's greater degree of inequality, reveals that students from lower-income households in Canada, Finland and South Korea still perform better than American teens from similar families. In addition, Korea, the top-scoring country in math scores shows the largest gap in achievement between the lowest and highest-income students.

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Students want a voice in USask cuts plan

Students at the University of Saskatchewan are demanding that their views be incorporated into the program prioritization process the institution is beginning in order to save $25-million. The plan will review all departments and academic units according to the same set of standardized criteria. The Star-Phonenix reports that the criteria have not yet been developed, but reviews at other institutions have taken into account the demand for programs, student outcomes and cost. Students in arts and humanities are particularly concerned their  programs might end up on the cutting room floor.

New national database for aboriginal students

Aboriginal students have access to a new database of targeted programs, from transition to university plans to those offered in a First Nations language. The directory, launched by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, also includes scholarship and support service information like day care availability, elder visits and peer-to-peer mentoring.

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