Fraser Institute releases B.C. and Yukon secondary school ratings, Prince Rupert ranks low

Prince Rupert secondary schools have once again been ranked low on the Fraser Institute's annual school report cards.

It’s that time of year again, when the Fraser Institute compares secondary schools all over British Columbia and the Yukon against one another, and as per usual, Prince Rupert schools have been ranked dismally.

The Fraser Institute claims to be the “the No. 1 source for parents who want to find out how their child’s school is doing compared to others in their community”.

“Whether it’s schools, hospitals, or any public institution, governments need to measure performance and encourage improvement. Our annual school rankings help parents hold school boards accountable and push for better results,” said Peter Cowley, Fraser Institute director of school performance studies.

However, School District 52’s board of education could not disagree more.

“[The district doesn’t] put any credence into the Fraser Institute’s ratings. I will not be looking at the results,” commented School District 52 Superintendent Lynn Hauptman, adding, “We use our own data to help set direction to determine what our priorities are and to look at what we need to do some further work on, but the Fraser Institute does not help us with that at all.”

The Fraser Institute rated 280 public and independent secondary schools in both British Columbia and the Yukon based on seven key indicators including the average exam marks of students in the school, the percentage of exams failed, schools versus exam mark differences, English gender gap and Math gender gap, graduation rates and delayed advancement rates.

Although it’s now Prince Rupert Middle School, the ranking of Prince Rupert Secondary School last year in the report was 4.8 out of 10 in 2011, which placed the school at 223 out of 280. PRSS saw an improvement in its rating from the previous year when the school was given a rating of 4.6. However the rating was down from 2009 when the facility was rated 5.1 out of 10. However, PRSS being rated 4.8 out of 10 is up from 2007’s rating of 4.1 and 2008’s rating of 4.3.

The education facility’s .2 per cent increase in 2011 came from an increase in the graduation rate (89.2 per cent in 2010, compared to 93.8 per cent in 2011) as well as a decrease in the delayed advancement rate (47.7 per cent in 2010 compared to 33.5 per cent in 2011).

In the Fraser Institute’s report, Charles Hays Secondary School was ranked 275 out of the 280 schools that were looked at. Over the past five years CHSS has never been rated over 3.8 out of 10, with 2011 seeing the lowest ranking in half a decade of 2 out of 10. This crummy rating can be attributed to the schools’ average exam mark of 57.8 per cent, and the high percentage of exams failed, as well as the decently high rate of gender gaps in English and Math.

The full report, including methodology used to determine the scores,  can be found online  at www.compareschoolrankings.org

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