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Most Airdrie schools rank below average, Fraser Institute

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 27, 2014 10:48 am

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The annual Report Card on Alberta’s Elementary Schools is out and only one of the five Airdrie schools included in the report are above the provincial overall average.

However, Rocky View Schools (RVS) Superintendent of Schools Don Hoium suggested the report carries little weight.

“…Rocky View Schools look to Alberta Education for information on student achievement and school performance, not independent groups such as the Fraser Institute,” he said in an email to the Airdrie City View.

“We encourage parents and members of the community to do the same.”

This thought was echoed by the Calgary Catholic School District’s (CCSD) Communications Specialist Sean Myers, who said because the report only looks at achievement tests that happen just once a year, it does not represent a holistic view of teaching and learning at the district.

“We feel the ranking provides just a snapshot of one day,” Myers said, adding the district looks to all available forms of data to determine achievement and not only achievement tests.

The report released by the Fraser Institute Feb. 15, ranks 782 elementary schools, anglophone and francophone, public, separate, private and charter schools based on nine academic indicators from results of the annual Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) administered by Alberta Education to Grade 3 and Grade 6 students. The report also includes information about personal and family characteristic of the schools student base.

The nine academic indicators were: average PAT marks in Grade 3 language arts and math; average PAT marks in Grade 6 language arts, math, science and social studies; percentage of PATs that were below acceptable standard; and the difference between male and female students in their average PAT marks for Grade 6 language arts and math.

Additional information includes the socioeconomic characteristics of each student body, additional language programs (French or English) and percentage of special needs students at each school.

These results were then standardized, weighted and combined to create an overall score out of 10 for each school. The average of all schools was found to be six out of 10.

AKCS

The private Christian School received the highest grade of the five Airdrie schools included in the report with an overall grade of 6.7, placing the school in the 294th place out of 782. However, the overall grade is down from the 2012 grade of 7.2.

École francophone d’Airdrie

The public French school scored below the provincial average of six with an overall grade of 4.5, placing the school in 632nd place. The school was has not been included in the report in pervious years.

Good Shepherd School

The CCSD school was also below the provincial average with an overall grade of 5.6, which is up from 2012 when the school scored a 4.8.

The overall grade places the Catholic school in the 495th spot.

OLQP

The second CCSD school on the list to score below the provincial average with an overall grade of 4.6. This grade is down from 2012 when the school came in at 5.5 for an overall grade. The 2013 grade ranks the school at the 622nd place.

Ralph McCall School

RVS’s Ralph McCall came in at the provincial average with an overall grade of six, which is up from 2012 when the school scored 5.8 overall. The grade places the school in the 417th place in the province.

Hoium did not respond to questions on achievements for specific schools outlined in the report.

The Fraser Institute is a Canadian public policy research and educational organization that does not accept grants or contracts for research from the government.

In order for schools to be included in the report they had to cater to both Grade 3 and Grade 6 student. Several of the RVS elementary schools are kindergarten to Grade 4 or 5 and were therefore not included in the report.

For more information on the report, visit www.compareschoolrankings.org


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