Six area schools academic performance increasing: Fraser Institute
Six elementary schools in Airdrie and Rocky View County were part of the 42 schools in the province to show signs of improvement in their academic performance, according to a recent report from the Fraser Institute.
But school representatives said they don’t necessarily place a significant value on these rankings.
“Rocky View Schools (RVS) looks to Alberta Education for information regarding the standardized test of students in grades 3, 6, 9 and 12, not independent groups such as the Fraser Institute,” said Greg Bass, superintendent for Rocky View Schools in a prepared statement
A spokesperson with the Calgary Catholic School District, said the Fraser report is just one small piece of information they use when evaluating schools and student performance.
The Fraser Institute’s annual report card on Alberta’s elementary schools rates 659 public, private, separate, charter and francophone elementary schools based on nine academic indicators using data from the annual provincial achievement tests administered by Alberta Education and compares academic performance over the past five years.
The report card also includes information about each school’s composition including parent’s average income, the percentage of ESL students and the percentage of special needs students.
Four Rocky View Schools (RVS): Ralph McCall in Airdrie, Bearspaw School, Kathyrn School and Langdon School, received higher scores out of 10 than they had in the past five years. Banded Peak Elementary School stayed the same with a rank of 6.8.
Bearspaw School placed 118th out of 659 schools, making it RVS’ top ranking institution. Its score out of 10 was 7.6, up from a five-year average of 6.8.
Average test marks were the highest in the last five years for all subjects included in the report. The highest average mark was 78 per cent for Grade 3 math and 81 per cent for Grade 6 science.
Indus School was given a ranking of 2.6 out of 10, the lowest for RVS schools included in the study. The average test mark for Grade 6 social studies hovered at 46 per cent and the average Grade 6 math mark at 48 per cent.
Bass said the Fraser Institute has its own methodology that is not consistent with the Province’s accountability framework.
He said RVS parents should contact their children’s schools for more information.
“It’s as easy as contacting your local school and asking for their school’s annual results report and analysis of provincial achievement test and diploma exam results,” he said.
As for the Catholic schools in Airdrie and Rocky View County, Our Lady Queen of Peace in Airdrie ranked 425th on the list and received a score of 5.5 out of 10, up from a five-year average of 5.2. St. Gabriel the Archangel in Chestermere, 466 on the list, increased from 4.8 to 5.2.
Good Shepherd in Airdrie received 4.8 out of 10 but did not have a comparative score from previous years. Neither did Our Lady of Wisdom in Chestermere, which received a 6.5 rating this year. Holy Spirit in Cochrane dropped from 6.9 to 6.8.
“Our district takes a look at all forms of (evaluation),” said Tania Younker, director of communications for Calgary Catholic School District. She said for them, the Fraser Institute provides “one small piece” of information for them to use.
“It doesn’t take into account the holistic view,” she said.
Airdrie Koinonia School placed 164th on the list, but their ranking out of 10 has dropped from 7.2 this year from an average of 7.6 in the past five years.
Principal Earl Driedger did not return calls before press time.
For a complete list of all 659 schools, visit www.compareschoolrankings.org