The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

March 13, 2011 08:32 ET

Fraser Institute Releases Alberta Elementary School Rankings; Interactive Website Allows Anyone to Track and Compare School Performance Over Past Five Years

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 13, 2011) - Anyone can easily track and compare the academic performance of Alberta elementary schools over the past five years using the school rankings released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada's leading public policy think-tank.

"Our report card answers this very important question: How does a school rank academically, compared with other schools across Alberta?" said Peter Cowley, Fraser Institute director of school performance studies and co-author of the Report Card on Alberta's Elementary School 2011.

"The report card is much more than a 'snapshot' of a school's performance in a single year. It shows school results for the past five years, indicating whether a school has improved or declined over time. Call it a 'motion picture' every parent and educator needs to see."

The school results may be viewed at www.compareschoolrankings.org, a free-to-use, interactive website where anyone can quickly and easily compare 654 Alberta elementary schools on seven key indicators of academic performance derived from the results of provincewide testing.

The website allows users to compare up to five schools at once based on exam results in multiple subject areas, percentage of exams failed, and each school's overall rating. The website generates easy-to-understand graphs that users may download.

Adding context to the rankings, the website also displays the average parental income at each school and the percentage of ESL and special needs students enrolled.

"Only on www.compareschoolrankings.org can parents quickly determine how the schools in their community are doing, and which of them are improving or declining academically," Cowley said.

"Many parents moving from one city to another find the Fraser Institute report card indispensable; it provides them with insight into a school's academic history and the demographic make-up of a school's population."

Cowley says that one purpose of the report card is to put the spotlight on schools that have improved, and encourage them to share their recipe for success.

"When the students at two schools share similar personal and family characteristics but have large differences in their exam results, that's a red flag that parents and educators can't ignore," Cowley said.

"All schools are responsible for ensuring that their students acquire the skills and knowledge they need, without falling behind. The Fraser Institute's report card is the only source for critical, contextual information about the performance of Alberta schools year to year—information every parent needs to know."

Follow the Fraser Institute on Twitter  | Become a fan on Facebook

The Fraser Institute is an independent research and educational organization with locations across North America and partnerships in more than 80 countries. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org.

Contact Information