Assessing the status of education through different data interpretation

For Prince Rupert schools it’s a case of ask a different think tank, get a different result. That in a nut shell is what we can make of a new study released this week, that finds that Prince Rupert schools may be found in the upper levels of the provincial rankings.

This latest survey, School Grades: Identifying British Columbia’s Best Schools compiled by David Johnson, a Professor of Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Education Policy Scholar at the C. D. Howe Institute, seems to be diametrically opposed to the ones we are used to reading over from the Fraser Institute.

This should not be a terrible surprise, for after all, the C. D. Howe Institute is considered slightly more to the left, than the right wing Fraser Institute. A mindset that is not lost on local educators.

( from  the blog a town called podunk,  click on the link below to see the entire article … 7735231696 ) –

I knew our high schools were hard,

no wonder I was kicked out twice :neutral_face:

on another note, it’s quite surprising/interesting to hear that our local schools are doing quite well compared to the other hardcore schools in the province!  :imp:

good job prince rupert.

Well, I sure do feel like a smarty pants, ‘cause I was sayin’ that all along!  I didn’t really think that the way that the schools were rated was a great reflection of the “issues” the population of Rupert faced.  Good Goin’ Rupert!

  The best thing about this new rating is that it shows an alternative view to the Fraser Institute’ ranking which enjoyed prestige when it was alone.  A second rating establishing a very different ranking using the same data puts a huge hole in the credibility of the Fraser Institute’s results. 

  Now we’ll see a debate rising as to which method of using the data is the best.  I’m not sure about the CD Howe agenda but we all know that the Fraser Institute’s agenda when it comes to education is fostering privatized education as much as possible, hence the top 10 ranks going to almost all private schools every year.  Play with the data and you will get the desired results!

I also like the rankings, because they sort of measure how far students have progressed, rather than what kind of head start they had.

Fraser Institute’s rankings are absolute rankings – the schools with the best academic grades are ranked highest.

The CD Howe rankings are relative – the schools are ranked on how their students did compared to an average of similar schools. 

So they are measuring different things. 

If school #1  is expected to have only 25% of its students at grade level based on its socioeconomic factors, and 35% of its students are actually at grade level, then it does very well in the CD Howe rankings, but very badly in the Fraser Institute rankings.

The opposite is true as well.  If school #2 is expected to have 95% of its students at grade level based on its socioeconomic factors, but only 90% of its students are at grade level, then it doesn’t do so well in the CD Howe rankings, but does well in the Fraser Institute rankings.

That’s an over-simplification for sure, but it sums up the relative versus absolute rankings. 

Personally, I think Roosevelt is an awesome school.

That’s exactly it MiG.  A school’s performance should measure how well the kids are doing after going through it’s classes.  I think that the relative ranking of the CD Howe study is much closer to such a measure than the Fraser Institute’s study.