The Fraser Institute has released their 2015 Report Card for Ontario elementary schools. The report card is a hot topic among both parents and educators – what do the scores mean? What gives one school a better rating than another? Should these scores be factors in deciding where you send your children to school or should they be dismissed entirely? These are questions that each family has to answer for themselves. Here are the facts about the reports and ranking:
The report is meant to be an objective look at how a school is doing, academically. They look at scores on the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) exams in literacy and numeracy (reading, writing, and math) that happen in grades 3 and 6 in Ontario. Schools are ranked from 1 to 3037, 1 being the best scores in the province, 3037 being the worst. It also shows you whether their ranking has an upward (improving) trend or a downward (worsening) trend. The schools are rated on a scale of 0 to 10. Though there is no actual ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, a score of 6 or above is seen as at or above the provincial average.
The list can be sorted by city if you would like to narrow the results to just the London schools. From there, you can click on individual schools for more information, such as the number of students that wrote the exam, the percentage of students who are classified as ESL or special needs, and parents average income. These factors paint a bigger picture of the school along with the rank and ratings that they’ve received. The Academic Performance chart breaks down the scores over the past five years to allow you to see how the schools performance has changed and by how much. For more information on how to read the report card, see HERE.
When comparing schools, it is important to find schools with similar characteristics for more accurate comparisons, for example, a school with a large grade six enrollment will have more diversity than a school with a small grade six enrollment where one or two low scores can alter the schools average. In the end, the Fraser Report is just one factor that should be used in deciding where to send your children to school. Read the report, compare the scores of the schools you are interested in, but also visit the schools, meet the teachers, meet the principal, see if you can get a feel for the general mood and atmosphere at the school. And if you’re still unsure, ask on the forum! Please remember also that the school boards in this area are very strict about school boundaries. Very few boundary exemptions are ever given, so if you want your child to attend a specific school, you will have to move into those boundaries.
To see the 2015 Elementary School Report, click HERE.
To see the 2014 Secondary School Report, click HERE.