This Fraser Institute graph compares SD69 elementary schools based on Fundamental Skills Assessment test results and other indicators based on those test results. School District 69 and others are seeking for the Ministry of Education to not provide the names of schools or districts when publicly publishing overall test scores, calling the process of ranking schools unfair. — Fraser Institute screen capture

BC school district wants an end to public circulation of test scores

Qualicum asks ministry what steps have been made to mask identity of schools, districts

School District 69 (Qualicum) has sent a letter asking the Ministry of Education what it’s doing to hide the names of schools and districts when releasing test scores to the public.

A process of ranking schools using test scores from Fundamental Skills Assessments (given in Grades 4 and 7) has been going on for years, with the Fraser Institute regularly releasing a school ranking based on the scores: www.fraserinstitute.org/school-performance

SD69 is not the first to call the ranking of schools based on the test scores unfair, with the B.C. School Trustees Association (BCSTA) asking the Ministry of Education (MOE) “that individual school results not be publicly released,” in 2017.

“Any public circulation of school results inevitably leads to the public ranking of schools by outside groups. This ongoing practice is certainly harmful and unfortunate. Perhaps the only solution is not to create consolidated school-based results in the first place,” reads the letter.

But SD69 is now asking what action the MOE has taken since then.

“School boards and other education stakeholders had high hopes that when the newly revised FSA was rolled out and implemented in the fall of 2017 that there would be protective measures in place to avoid abuse of data and information,” reads SD69’s letter. “Unfortunately that has not happened.”

“Two revised-FSA cycles have come and gone and Boards of Education still have no assurances that information for public consumption will be masked or otherwise unidentifiable of individual schools and districts.”

In news reports, BCSTA president Gordon Swan has said that the demographics of a school can effect test scores, with disadvantaged students like those with special needs or students who’ve newly arrived in Canada and who’s primary language isn’t English tending to score worse on tests.

Ranking schools based on these scores is therefore unfair, he said, as some schools have a higher percentage of disadvantaged students than others.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Apparent gas leak on Highway 33 in Kelowna

Emergency crews have taped off access to Centex Gas on Highway 33 near Asher Road

Kelowna RCMP plan mini parade past KGH to recognize health care workers

Kelowna officers will flash lights and sounds both Saturday and Sunday night

Perry and Stanley awarded top UBC Okanagan rookies

The volleyball star and soccer star won the prize over Heat’s virtual awards banquet

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Okanagan woman baking for those in need amid COVID-19

Vernon’s Crystal Hedlund launched a GoFundMe page to generate funds for baking materials

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read