The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

April 09, 2006 10:00 ET

Media Release: Fraser Institute Publishes Annual Report Card on Secondary Schools in BC and Yukon

VANCOUVER, BRTIISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - April 9, 2006) - The Fraser Institute today released the Report Card on Secondary Schools in British Columbia and Yukon. This annual report uses relevant, publicly available data to rate and rank 281 of BC and Yukon'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 Institute, and co-author of the Report Card. "When parents already have a child enrolled at a school they use the report cards as an annual audit of how that school is doing academically."

Indicators used in the 2006 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 BC's 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 a school's lack of it-over time.

Sports participation rate

Added last year, this indicator has been refined to report the average number of interschool sports teams, sanctioned by the BC School Sports Association, for which students at a school have registered.

"Schools that encourage their students to join inter-school sports teams are helping them participate in an active and healthy life style, engage in positive competition, and build teamwork and leadership skills," Cowley pointed out.

This indicator has not been used in the calculation of each school's overall rating. "We'll consider feedback from interested individuals and groups prior to determining if the indicator will contribute to overall rating and, if so, with what weight," he said.

Yukon Schools

Secondary schools in Yukon follow, for the most part, British Columbia's curriculum and their students participate in provincial exams administered by BC's Ministry of Education. Beginning with this edition, the Report Card will include secondary schools in Yukon that meet the general criteria for inclusion.

Four Yukon schools-Vanier Catholic Secondary, F.H Collins Secondary, Porter Creek Secondary, and Watson Lake Secondary-are included in this edition and they are rated and ranked in exactly the same manner as schools in British Columbia.

About the Report Card

This is the only comprehensive and widely distributed Report Card on secondary schools available in the region. Detailed results on all 281 schools are posted at www.fraserinstitute.ca.

The Fraser Institute has published report cards on secondary schools in British Columbia since 1999 and on elementary schools since 2003. A Report Card on Aboriginal Education in BC was introduced in 2004.

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.

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