VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Jun 13 (MARKET WIRE) —
The percentage of B.C. and Yukon secondary school students who passed
their provincial exams hit a five-year high in 2009, leading to the
highest graduation rates in the region since 2005, according to the
Fraser Institute’s annual Report Card on Secondary Schools in British
Columbia and the Yukon.
This year’s results show that 8.7 per cent of tests written by B.C. and
Yukon secondary school students in 2009 received a failing grade,
compared to 9.1 per cent in 2008. This measure of student achievement has
shown a significant improvement since 2005, along with the graduation
rate, which reached a five-year high of 95.8 per cent in 2009.
“The report card brings these achievements to the attention of
parents and educators, allowing schools to share and celebrate their
success with the community, and with one another,” said Michael
Thomas, Fraser Institute associate director of school performance studies
and co-author of the report card.
“For schools that didn’t see an improvement in their academic
performance, educators can use the report card to identify areas in which
improvement can be made and seek advice from similar schools that have
improved academically. The report card helps connect schools that may
need help with those which have improved.”
The Fraser Institute’s secondary school report card is the only
convenient, objective source measuring the academic performance of B.C.
and Yukon secondary schools. It allows parents and educators to analyze
how local schools are performing compared to one another, and compared to
the regional average. The report card shows whether schools are improving
or declining academically based on Grade-12 provincewide exam results and
grade-to-grade transition data provided by the B.C. Ministry of
Education, which administers the school curriculum and provincial exams
in both B.C. and the Yukon.
In tandem with the report card, the Institute’s interactive website,
www.compareschoolrankings.org, allows users to easily compare the
performance of 288 public and private secondary schools from across B.C.
and the Yukon using seven key indicators of school performance. Users can
create downloadable charts displaying the results.
“This interactive website makes comparing schools even easier. You
can compare up to five schools at once based on specific academic
measurements such as the percentage of exams written at the school that
were awarded a failing grade. You can also see whether the performance at
a school is improving or deteriorating on any of the academic
indicators,” Thomas said.
“These detailed comparisons provide parents with the information
they need to ask school principals and teachers important questions about
how their child’s school is performing.”
Parents and educators have shown significant interest in having the
ability to track and compare school performance. In 2009 alone, visitors
to the Fraser Institute’s website requested nearly 153,100 tables of
detailed results for individual B.C. and Yukon secondary schools.
The report card contains enough data to allow for valid comparisons among
schools, and Thomas reiterated that the purpose of the report card is to
encourage schools to improve.
“Every school has the responsibility to provide its students,
regardless of their personal characteristics or family background, with
the academic skills they need to be successful in later life. The Fraser
Institute report card is the only source for parents and educators to
quickly and easily determine how their local schools are doing compared
to the provincial average, and compared to one another,” Thomas said.
The complete Report Card on Secondary Schools in British Columbia and the
Yukon 2010 can also be downloaded as a free PDF at
www.fraserinstitute.org or www.compareschoolrankings.org.
Thomas will be in Vancouver and available for in-person interviews on
Sunday, June 13 and the morning of Monday, June 14.
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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research
and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto,
and Montreal and ties to a global network of 75 think tanks. Its mission
is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets
and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the
Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or
contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org.
Fraser Institute – Media Contact
Associate Director of School Performance Studies
(416) 363-6575 ext. 223 or Mobile: (416) 399-1802
Director of Communications
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