The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

April 10, 2005 10:00 ET

Fraser Institute publishes annual Report Card on BC's secondary schools

VANCOUVER, April 10 - The Fraser Institute today released the
Report Card on British Columbia's Secondary Schools: 2005 Edition. This annual
report is the only one of its kind to analyze relevant, publicly available
data to rate and rank 282 of BC's public and independent secondary schools.
"Parents use the Report Card's indicator values, ratings, and rankings to
compare schools when they choose an education provider for their children,"
said Peter Cowley, director of school performance studies at The Fraser
Institute, and co-author of the Report Card. "Parents and school
administrators also use the Report Card to help identify aspects of the
school's academic performance that can be improved."

Indicators used in the 2005 Report Card

The foundation of the Report Card is an overall rating of each school's
academic performance. Building on data about student results provided by the
Ministry of Education, each school is rated on a scale from zero to 10.
For each school, eight indicators of school performance are measured:

1. Average provincial examination mark;
2. Percentage of provincial examinations failed;
3. The difference between the school mark and examination mark in
provincially examinable courses;
4. The difference in performance between male and female students in
English 12;
5. The difference in performance between male and female students in
Math 12;
6. The number of provincially examinable courses taken per student;
7. The graduation rate;
8. The likelihood that a school's grade 10 students will receive their
diploma in the normal time.

The Report Card provides an annual overall rating based on these
indicators. The Trend indicator provides evidence of progress (or lack of it)
over time.

New Indicator This Year

"Until this edition, the Report Card has only included schools' results
in academic performance and progress. It has always been our desire to broaden
the focus of the Report Card and we now have access to data that offer the
opportunity to do so," said Cowley.
Most schools provide their students with an opportunity to participate in
a variety of extra-curricular activities. Sports are a popular
extra-curricular activity enjoyed by a significant number of the province's
secondary school students, and there is some evidence that student
participation in sports is beneficial in a variety of ways. Schools that
encourage their students to join inter-school sports teams are encouraging
their students to participate in an active and healthy life style, to engage
in positive competition, and to build teamwork and leadership skills.
New this year, the Sports participation rate reports the proportion of
the students at each school who were registered members of at least one
inter-school sports team during the school year. This new measure is a
reasonable indicator of the extent to which the school encourages its students
to take advantage of beneficial extra-curricular activities offered by the
school.
For this edition, the Sports participation rate indicator has not been
used in the calculation of the Overall rating. "After considering feedback
from interested individuals and groups, we plan to include this indicator in
the calculation of the overall rating in the 2006 edition," noted Cowley.

TargetMaker: A New Tool for Educators

Earlier this year, the Fraser Institute introduced TargetMaker, a web
based, by-subscription improvement tool for BC secondary school principals
that provides them with a detailed analysis of the results that contributed to
their school's overall rating in the Report Card on British Columbia's
Secondary Schools. With this new tool, principals are able to develop
improvement plans and instantly see how the achievement of those plans affects
their school's overall rating.
"TargetMaker can help every principal find ways to improve students'
results. As a parent, I'd want to be sure my child's principal is using
TargetMaker as an improvement tool," said Cowley.
TargetMaker also allows principals to compare their schools' detailed
course-by-course results with those of any other schools. TargetMaker can
instantly produce charts that graph these comparisons using a full 12 years of
historical data.
This TargetMaker's feature will be available for use by the media and the
parents for one week, beginning Sunday, April 10 at
www.fraserinstitute.ca/reportcards/index.asp?snav=rc.
Detailed results on all 282 schools are posted at www.fraserinstitute.ca.
The Fraser Institute has published report cards on secondary schools in
British Columbia since 1999.

Established in 1974, The Fraser Institute is an independent public policy
organization based in Vancouver, with offices in Calgary and Toronto.
The media release and the complete text and rankings of the Report Card
(in PDF) are posted at www.fraserinstitute.ca.




Contact Information

  • Peter Cowley
    Director of School Performance Studies
    The Fraser Institute
    (604) 714-4556
    Mobile (604) 789-0475
    Email: peterc@fraserinstitute.ca