The Fraser Institute’s annual report card on B.C. elementary schools is out and while some aspects remain status quo, a growing number of classrooms saw a bump in their rank.
In a news release Saturday, the right-leaning think tank ranked 946 public and independent elementary schools based on academic indicators from province-wide Foundation Skills Assessment results, including reading, math and writing.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest rating to achieve, independent elementary schools claimed 80 of the top 102 spots.
Public elementary school Cedardale, in Vancouver, topped the list, with Metro Vancouver independent schools, including Crofton House, Southridge and York House, filled the next 10 spots.
Peter Cowley, co-author of the annual report, said it offers a benchmark for parents to check in on how their kid’s school is improving or falling behind year-to-year.
“The report card provides parents with information they can’t easily get anywhere else about how their child’s school is performing over time and compared to other schools across the province,” he said.
For years, the think tank’s report card has been criticized by the B.C. Teacher’s Federation as an inaccurate representation of what happens in classrooms across the province. The federation has said teachers are always doing internal assessments, which they say are done by some on a daily basis.
But according to the Fraser Institute data, 16 of the 20 fastest-improving schools are public schools.
Parkview Elementary in Sicamous was ranked as the fastest-improving school, with an overall of 6.6 from 2017 test results, compared to 2.8 in 2013.
Woodland Park Elementary in Surrey also saw a bump to its rank, now holding a 7.7 rating up from 5.2 in the same four-year period.
“Simply put, differences in parental income do not appear to explain the differences in the overall ratings of independent and public schools,” Cowley said.
“All too often we hear excuses that public schools can’t improve student performance because of the communities and the students they serve, but the evidence suggests otherwise.”