The Report Card on Ontario’s Secondary Schools 2012 collects a variety of relevant, objective indicators of school performance into one, easily accessible public document so that anyone can analyze and compare the performance of individual schools. By doing so, the Report Card assists parents when they choose a school for their children and encourages and assists all those seeking to improve their schools.
Where parents can choose among several schools for their children, the Report Card provides a valuable tool for making a decision. Because it makes comparisons easy, it alerts parents to those nearby schools that appear to have more effective academic programs. Parents can also determine whether schools of interest are improving over time. By first studying the Report Card, parents will be better prepared to ask relevant questions when they visit schools under consideration and speak with the staff.
Of course, the choice of a school should not be made solely on the basis of a single source of information. Web sites maintained by Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), the provincial ministry of education, and local school boards may also provide useful information. Parents who already have a child enrolled at the school provide another point of view. Naturally, a sound academic program should be complemented by effective programs in areas of school activity not measured by the Report Card. Nevertheless, the Report Card provides a detailed picture of each school that is not easily available elsewhere.