VANCOUVER, BC—The Fraser Institute today published its annual rankings of B.C. and Yukon secondary schools, showing which schools are improving, or falling behind, in terms of academics.
"Our rankings are the No. 1 source for parents who want to find out how their child’s school is doing compared to others in their community," said Peter Cowley, Fraser Institute director of school performance studies.
The Report Card on Secondary Schools in British Columbia and Yukon 2012 rates 280 public and independent secondary schools in B.C. and Yukon based on seven key indicators using data from the annual provincewide exams administered by the B.C. Ministry of Education. The full rankings are available in an interactive and searchable format or as a free PDF at www.compareschoolrankings.org.
The report card displays individual school results for the past five years, showing whether schools have improved or fallen behind over time. It also includes information about each school’s make up, including parents’ average income, the percentage of ESL students, and the percentage of special needs students.
"When comparing school performance, it’s important to consider all factors that affect learning. That’s why our report card offers demographic data in addition to exam results," Cowley said.
According to the report, 14 of the fastest-improving secondary schools in B.C. are public schools. Of that total, 10 are below the provincial average in terms of parental incomes.
"Our rankings show that every school is capable of improvement, regardless of the personal and family characteristics of its student population," Cowley said.
The report card also points out that 10.2 per cent of secondary school exams written in 2011 received a failing grade, compared to 8.1 per cent in last year’s edition.
Parents have shown great interest in the Fraser Institute’s school rankings. Last year alone, 390,000 individual school reports and comparisons on B.C. and Yukon secondary schools were downloaded from www.compareschoolrankings.org. A 2008 COMPAS poll of more than 1,000 B.C. parents found overwhelming support for the B.C. Ministry of Education’s provincewide testing policy and for the idea that parents should be able to use the results of those tests to compare schools.
"Clearly, parents want to know whether their local schools are meeting the provincial standard for learning," Cowley said.
"Whether it’s schools, hospitals, or any public institution, governments need to measure performance and encourage improvement. Our annual school rankings help parents hold school boards accountable and push for better results."
Fastest-Improving B.C. Secondary Schools
- Lake Cowichan (Public), Lake Cowichan
- Selkirk (Public), Kimberley
- Heritage Park (Public), Mission
- Mark R. Isfeld (Public), Courtenay
- Edward Milne (Public), Sooke
- Elphinstone (Public), Gibsons
- David Thompson (Public), Invermere
- Langley Christian (Independent), Langley
- Walnut Grove (Public), Langley
- Dr. Charles Best (Public), Coquitlam
- Brentwood College (Independent), Mill Bay
- Fort Nelson (Public), Fort Nelson
- Guildford Park (Public), Surrey
- Clarence Fulton (Public), Vernon
- Crofton House (Independent), Vancouver
- Archbishop Carney (Independent), Port Coquitlam
- Rutland (Public), Kelowna
- Sir Charles Tupper (Public), Vancouver