Alberta and Florida have instituted school reform initiatives over the past fifteen years in an effort to improve the quality of their schools. Alberta has focused on systemic improvement by engaging the community in educational needs assessment, raising the high standards of teacher preparation, and improving effective instructional practices through professional development. Florida’s efforts have concentrated on holding students, teachers, schools, and districts accountable for high-stakes testing results by increasing the number and rigor of required assessments and increasing the negative consequences for low achievement scores. The 2012 PISA scores reveal that Alberta’s students are maintaining their high rankings relative to the other countries that administer the PISA, showing relatively narrow differences in student scores for children of low socioeconomic status and those from a recent immigrant background. In contrast, Florida’s student scores continue to show a lack of progress in country and regional rankings and wide differences in the achievement of students from different socioeconomic and immigrant backgrounds.



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