Ministry of Education

Interpreting Reports: Guidelines and Cautions

  • Use multiple sources of information whenever possible

To increase confidence in the student results being collected, it is advisable to use multiple sources of performance information including information drawn at the classroom, school, district, and provincial levels. This is particularly important when reviewing the performance of small numbers of students.

  • Ensure comparability of information from different sources

When analysing student results collected from different sources, care should be taken to ensure comparability.

For example, consider the similarity of exam questions, the number of students represented, as well as the consistency in exam administration.

  • Be cautious with data representing small numbers of students

Small numbers of students may not adequately represent the whole population. The overall results for smaller groups of students can be greatly influenced by the scores of just a few (one or two) individuals.

  • Review trends of data

Multiple years of results are more meaningful than results of a single year. Five or more years may suggest a trend. The more results that follow the trend the greater the ability to make a prediction.

  • Ensure protection of privacy when reporting student data

    (See Ensuring Privacy)