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Fraser Institute releases new Quebec school rankings; future rankings in doubt as government mulls scrapping provincewide testing

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Release Date: October 22, 2010

MONTREAL, QC—The Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank, today released the 10th edition of its Report Card on Quebec’s Secondary Schools.

But future report cards may be in doubt as the Quebec government considers cancelling provincewide compulsory testing at the Secondary IV level.

“Without the data provided by test results in physical sciences, mathematics, and the history of Quebec and Canada, it will no longer be possible to produce school report cards comparing and ranking schools based on academic performance,” said Peter Cowley, Fraser Institute director of school performance studies and co-author of the Report Card on Quebec’s Secondary Schools: 2010 Edition.

“We encourage the Quebec government to rethink this decision and reinstate standardized testing that will allow parents and educators the ability to compare schools not only locally, but also across the province, using the Fraser Institute’s trusted, one-of-a-kind report.”

An invaluable source of information for parents and educators, the report card is the only easy-to-use, objective tool that shows whether the academic performance of a secondary school is improving or declining, based on data derived from the results of provincewide tests in French and English, the physical sciences, mathematics, and the history of Quebec and Canada, administered for the Quebec Ministry of Education.

The Fraser Institute publishes annual report cards on secondary schools in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario, and has published its Report Card on Quebec’s Secondary Schools since 2000. It also publishes annual report cards on elementary schools in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.

The results of the Report Card on Quebec’s Secondary Schools: 2010 Edition are available at www.compareschoolrankings.org, an interactive website that allows users to easily compare the performance of 446 French and English, public and private secondary schools from across Quebec based on key performance indicators such as average exam mark and percentage of exams failed. Users can generate downloadable charts displaying the results.

This year’s report, which is based on the results of provincewide tests administered in the 2007-2008 school year, shows that schools with a high proportion of special needs students, and schools that have climbed in the ratings from near zero levels just a few years ago are all among the top 10 fastest-improving schools. The report card also identifies schools that show statistically significant decline in their results over the past five years.

View the top 10 fastest-improving and top 10 fastest-declining schools

“By bringing these declining performances to the attention of both the school and the community, the report card can help to halt the downward trend,” Cowley said.

“If the government moves ahead with the cancellation of provincewide testing, these critical comparisons will no longer be possible. Quebec will effectively deprive parents of the information they need to ask the principal at their children’s school important questions about a school’s academic performance.”

Cowley reiterates that the objective of the report card is to encourage all schools to improve.

“Comparing schools using provincewide test results tells us which schools are most in need of assistance. The Fraser Institute report card is the only source for parents and educators to quickly and easily determine how their local schools are doing compared to one another, and compared to the provincial average,” he said.

This year, Le Journal de Montréal and Le Journal de Québec and other Quebecor newspapers across Quebec will publish school-by-school results in their Saturday, Oct. 23 editions.



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