CALGARY, AB-Twenty-two of the 50 top-performing high schools
in Alberta can be found in rural communities, according to the
Report Card on Alberta's High Schools 2009, released today by independent research organization the Fraser Institute.
"Almost half of the highest performing high schools in the
province are found in small, rural communities scattered across
Alberta," said Peter Cowley, Fraser Institute director of
school performance studies.
"Teachers and administrators in these schools have found
ways to ensure student success, regardless of the families'
income or the location of the school."
Redwater High school in the small community of Redwater is
the highest ranked rural school at seventh. Vauxhall High
School ranked ninth, Kate Andrews High School in Coaldale is
13th, and Foremost High School ranked 15th. A complete
list of the top-performing rural high schools is included at
the end of this news release.
Report Card on Alberta's High Schools 2009
rates 283 public, private, separate, and charter high schools
from across Alberta based on eight key indicators derived from
Grade-12 province-wide exam results and grade-to-grade
transition data provided by Alberta Education.
This annual report card, compiles data from these
indicators into easily read charts that allow anyone to analyze
and compare the performance of individual schools. Parents
consult the report card when they are choosing a school and use
it as an annual audit of how their children's school is doing
The Report Card also provides background information on the
individual and family characteristics of each school's
students. It reports the percentage of ESL, special needs, and
French immersion students at the school and the average
parental income level of the students' families. These measures
provide some context within which to analyze each school's
"Parents have repeatedly shown they value the ability to
track the performance of their child's school and compare it to
other schools," Cowley said.
"Our report card allows parents to quickly and easily
determine if their child's school is improving or declining
academically. It also gives parents information they can use in
discussions with teachers and principals."
Cowley said critics of the Fraser Institute report card too
often excuse a school's poor results by blaming them on
socio-economic factors. By doing so, these critics are
essentially writing off a student's chances of success if the
family happens to enjoy only a modest income.
"The entire school system should be dedicated to ensuring
that all children--no matter where they live or how much their
parents earn--acquire the skills and knowledge they will need
to continue their studies and go on to live a happy and
prosperous life as adults in Canada. Educators must
continuously improve their practice in order to find new ways
of helping their students succeed," he said.
Alberta's Top Performing Rural High Schools 2009