Public beats private for math: Euclid results

Public school students in B.C. are beating their private school counterparts in math according to the results of Canada's 1999 Euclid Mathematics Contest, says UBC Mathematics Prof. George Bluman.

Of the 53 schools on the Canadian School Honour Roll, based on results of the best three eligible students, 19 are from B.C. Eighteen of these are public schools.

"The performance of public school students is remarkable, in fact, a reversal of the results we saw several years ago," says Bluman, head of UBC's Mathematics Dept. and B.C. co-ordinator of the Euclid contest. He is also a member of the national committee that sets the 2.5-hour exam for the contest which is based on Grade 12 curriculum.

Forty-seven B.C. students made the Canadian Student Honour Roll. Only one of these students attends a private school.

West Vancouver's Sentinel Secondary School finished first with Grade 10 student Daniel Brox tied for highest individual score.

Of the top eight schools in Canada, four are from B.C. and four are from Ontario. In addition to Sentinel, B.C. schools in the top eight are Victoria's Mount Douglas (fifth), Vancouver's Eric Hamber (sixth) and Sir Winston Churchill (seventh).

Placing thirteenth among schools in Canada is the Transition Program, a partnership of the Vancouver School Board and UBC. The two-year program, which is the first of its kind in the country, is designed to allow a maximum of 30 youth, ranging in age from 12 to 16 years, to study university-level courses on campus.

Schools from outside the south coast area also displayed strong math skills.

"The results for B.C. schools outside Greater Vancouver and Greater Victoria are the best in recent memory," says Bluman.

The Euclid Mathematics Contest is designed to challenge prospective post-secondary students and identify those with outstanding talent.

The 1999 contest was written by 2,456 B.C. students from 165 B.C. schools.

There were almost 15,000 entrants from about 1,100 schools across Canada.