Fraser Institute rankings stir the debate for another year!

Having given the member papers of Black Press (including the Northern View) a sneak preview of their findings from this years survey into education, The Fraser Institute released their numbers to wider circulation Friday, posting their report on the Institutes website.

The Northern View was the first t0 offer up the details of the Institutes research as it pertained to schools of the North coast, a snapshot of the figures and some feedback from local educators, administrators and school board officials.

(from  the blog a town called podunk, click on the link below to see the entire article … 6963196104 )

Thank you for this analysis.  I’d like to add one other point.

From a statistical perspective, the yearly numbers are meaningless.  When comparing a school ranking from one year to the next, we are actually comparing one group of 4’s and 7’s to another group of 4’s and 7’s.  We all know that one group of students is not the same as another group.  Add the reconfiguration last year, and comparisons are even more hopeless.  Conrad’s and Lax Kxeen’s numbers will be heavily influenced by the students that were moved by school closures.

If comparisons are to be made the comparisons should be between the scores of the grade 7’s and the scores they received as grade 4’s.  A school that takes its kids who are all above expectations and keeps them there is not doing as good a job (regardless of the rankings) as a school that takes non-readers from deprived homes and moves them up the ladder even if they are still below grade expectations.

As a further example, a few years back while sorting through files I came across the grade 7 FSA scores of the class that had just graduated.  Using only the reading scores I compared their grade 7 scores to their English/Communications 12 exams.  The consistency was fairly remarkable.  Kids who did well in Grade 7 did well  in English 12. Students who were below expectations in Grade 7, either got average marks in English 12 or did relatively well in Communications 12. 

Not all students from Grade 7 wrote the grade 12 exam.  Most were not in Prince Rupert but of the ones still here most were in school.  If I recall only one student who was meeting expectations in Grade 7 did not write the grade 12 exam.  For some reason this person was in Grade 11 doing satisfactory work.

And even here we cannot judge a school because the next year’s group or the group from the year before might have been entirely different.