The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

June 10, 2005 06:00 ET

Fraser Institute Releases Annual Report Card on Ontario's Elementary Schools

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 10, 2005) - The Fraser Institute today released the Report Card on Ontario's Elementary Schools: 2005 Edition. This annual report is the only publication of its kind to analyze relevant, publicly available data to rate and rank 2850 of Ontario's English and French, public and separate, elementary schools.

"The Report Card collects a variety of relevant, objective indicators of school performance into one easily accessible public document so that anyone can analyze and compare the performance of individual schools," said Peter Cowley, director of school performance studies at the Institute and co-author of the Report Card. "Comparisons are the key to improvement," he noted.

Indicators used in the 2005 Report Card

The foundation of the Report Card is an overall rating of each school's academic performance. Using data on student results provided by Ontario's Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), each school is rated on a scale from zero to 10. For each school, nine indicators of school performance are measured:

1. Average level of achievement on the grade 3 EQAO assessment in reading.

2. Average level of achievement on the grade 3 EQAO assessment in writing.

3. Average level of achievement on the grade 3 EQAO assessment in mathematics.

4. Average level of achievement on the grade 6 EQAO assessment in reading.

5. Average level of achievement on the grade 6 EQAO assessment in writing.

6. Average level of achievement on the grade 6 EQAO assessment in mathematics.

7. The difference between male and female students in their average levels of achievement on the EQAO assessment in grade 6 reading.

8. The difference between male and female students in their average levels of achievement on the EQAO assessment in grade 6 mathematics.

9. The percentage of EQAO assessments that did not meet the provincial standard.

The Report Card provides an annual overall rating out of 10 based on these indicators. The Trend indicator provides evidence of a school's progress, or lack of it, over time.

New in this edition

This Report Card's overall school rating is based on province-wide tests in reading, writing, and mathematics administered during grade 3 and grade 6. The number of students not writing these tests is reflected in the Tests not written indicator. In previous editions of the Report Card, the Tests not written percentage was only reported for the most recent school year. This edition of the Report Card begins reporting Tests not written for all the school years for which we have data. As a result, readers now have available an historical record of the extent to which each school ensures that its students participate in the tests.

"Those who believe that high levels of participation are useful will be interested to see if the percentage of tests not written is reduced over time," Cowley noted.

Comparisons are at the heart of the improvement process

By comparing a school's latest results with those of earlier years, we can see if the school is improving. By comparing a school's results with those of neighbouring schools or schools having similar school and student characteristics, we can identify more successful schools and learn from them. Reference to overall provincial results places an individual school's level of achievement in a broader context.

"There is great benefit in identifying schools that are particularly effective. By studying the techniques used in schools where students are successful, less effective schools may find ways to improve," said Cowley.

The Report Card series

The first Report Card on Ontario's Elementary Schools was introduced in June 2003. Elementary school report cards have also been published in BC and Alberta. The complete Report Card, including the rankings and the detailed tables on all 2850 schools, is posted at www.fraserinstitute.ca.

Established in 1974, The Fraser Institute is an independent public policy organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.


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