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Prince Rupert-area schools ranked low in assessment

Prince Rupert schools received their report card on Sunday and, once again, most received a failing grade
Annunciation was rated the highest out of any other school in Prince Rupert by the Fraser Institute. It ranked 120 out of 944 elementary schools in B.C.

Prince Rupert schools received their report card on Sunday and, once again, most received a failing grade.

The Fraser Institute released its annual report evaluating 944 public and private elementary schools. Ratings were based on how well students fared in the province’s Foundation Skills Assessment.

Schools were given an overall rating out of 10 using a rating based on 10 indicators including the average FSA scores for writing, numeracy, reading, the difference between male and female students and the percentage of tests that could have been written by students who were absent or exempt from writing the test.

Prince Rupert had an average of 4.5 out of 10 for the city’s elementary schools. The Fraser Institute found that 80 per cent of the top 100 ranked schools are private schools. Prince Rupert’s highest rank — and the only school in the top half of the list — is Annunciation, a private Catholic school with a score of 7.9 in the 2014-15 year and ranked 120 out of 944 schools.

“The results are based on one test and don’t reflect growth. I think they are based on socio-economic concerns rather than the value of a school,” said Kathy Murphy, president of the Prince Rupert District Teachers Union.

The second highest ranked school is Lax Kxeen at 639 spots down the list from Annunciation, with a score of 4.6 (out of 10). Pineridge ranked 866 with a score of 3.6, then Conrad dropped to 883 with a score of 3.4 and last up is Roosevelt Park at 896 scoring 3.1.

School District 52 superintendent, Sandra Jones, said that the Fraser Institute’s report card does not represent the quality of the school.

“Small sample sizes are very malleable so they change. One or two kids will make a giant difference in your statistics,” Jones said.

Secondary schools were also given a report card, and Charles Hays ranked 264 out of 289, with a rating of 3.7 out of 10.

Jones said that statistically Prince Rupert has always had many of its students sit out the Foundation Skills Assessment.

“We use the results to help educators to see how individual students and the class is doing overall ... They were never intended to be a measure of individual kids or as a ranking system.”