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Fraser Institute gives Prince Rupert high schools a failing grade

Only online. - Black Press
Only online.
— image credit: Black Press

On  May 8 the Fraser Institute released its annual - and controversial - Report Card on Secondary Schools in British Columbia and Yukon, and once again schools in the Prince Rupert School Districts received failing grades.

According to the report, the two high schools were well towards the bottom of the list. Out of 274 schools ranked, Prince Rupert Secondary School was tied with nine other schools in 227th place with a score of 4.6 out of 10 while Charles Hays ranked 269th with a score of 2.6 out of 10.

PRSS’ score is down from last year’s score of 5.1, but the second highest score the school received in the past five years behind 2009’s score of 5.1. The average grade 12 provincial exam mark was the highest in five years at 66.8 per cent and the percentage of exams failed was the lowest in five years at 10 per cent. The graduation rate is the second highest in five years, with 89.2 per cent of students graduating. The score of 4.6 is up from the average score in the last five years of 4.5 out of 10.

Charles Hays’ score in the report is the lowest in the past five years and down from last year’s score of 3.8. The average provincial exam mark of 60.5 is tied for the second lowest in five years and the exam fail rate is the second highest in five years at 19.8 per cent. The graduation rate for Charles Hays in 2010 is also the second lowest in the last five years at 93.5, down from 2009 when the school had a 100 per cent graduation rate.  Charles Hays score is down from the average score of 3.5 in the past five years.

Educators and politicians have long debated whether or not the Fraser Institute should be permitted access to education information for the purpose of ranking schools, but Fraser Institute director of school performance studies and co-author of the report Peter Cowley says it is important parents see what is happening in the schools over time.

“By displaying individual school results for the past five years, the report card offers a ‘motion picture’ indicating whether a school has improved or declined over time. The idea is that every school is capable of improvement, and that everybody should have easy access to clear, up-to-date information about the performance of the secondary schools in their province, territory, and local community,” he said.

The three top schools in the report are all based in Vancouver. Chase High School was the lowest ranked in the report. The report did not rank any schools in the Haida Gwaii School District.

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

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