The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

September 08, 2005 11:00 ET

Media Release: Fraser Institute Reports on Yukon Secondary Schools for the First Time

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 8, 2005) - The Fraser Institute has today introduced a rating and ranking of Yukon secondary schools.
The Yukon's secondary schools generally follow the British Columbia curriculum and its grade 12 students participate in the same final exams in key academic courses as British Columbian students do. Since these exam results form the basis for the Institute's annual Report Card on British Columbia's Secondary Schools, and since sufficient data to calculate the overall rating out of 10 are now available, Yukon schools will be included in the 2006 edition of the BC Report Card, to be released next spring.

In the interim, the 2005 ratings are published in an article "Yukon Schools Ranked", in the September edition of the Institute's monthly magazine Fraser Forum.

Indicators used

The indicators used are the same ones utilized in the Report Card on British Columbia's Secondary Schools. For each of the Yukon secondary schools included, eight indicators of school performance were 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.

Schools included

In order to be included in the ranking, a school must have enrolled at least 15 grade 12 students in September of the most recent school year for which data are reported. This minimum requirement assures us of a reasonable amount of data upon which to rate the schools.

Of the twelve Yukon schools enrolling grade 12 students in 2003-2004, four met the minimum enrollment criteria for inclusion: Vanier Catholic Secondary; Porter Creek Secondary; F.H. Collins Secondary, and Watson Lake Secondary.

Among the four Yukon schools included, only Vanier Catholic Secondary in Whitehorse comes close to the average result achieved by British Columbia secondary schools. The other three are consistently and substantially below average.

"Experience tells us that the introduction of a report card encourages parents to demand improvement and motivates educators and education officials to refocus on student achievement," said Peter Cowley, author of the article and the Institute's director of school performance studies.

"The Report Card shows that there is considerable opportunity for improvement at these four Yukon schools. With its annual audit of performance, the Report Card will help make it happen," he noted.

Established in 1974, The Fraser Institute is an independent public policy organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. The media release and the text of the article are posted at www.fraserinstitute.ca.

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