Fraster Institute report cards need perspective

The annual Fraser Institute School Report Cards show the Central Okanagan had only one elementary school in the bottom 100 in the province this year and none of the high schools fell below the mark.

  • Feb. 8, 2011 8:00 p.m.

The annual Fraser Institute School Report Cards show the Central Okanagan had only one elementary school in the bottom 100 in the province this year and none of the high schools fell below the mark.

Chief Tomat Elementary sits at 822 out of 875 schools in the ranking, according to the highly controversial report, which uses one standardized test—the Foundation Skills Assessment, administered in Grades 4 and 7—to determine how the school stacks up against other schools.

School districts and teachers have long disputed the report, saying it’s focus is too narrow to read much into the data.

“We don’t discount the FSA. We take it as one of the data pieces we look at,” explained school district superintendent Hugh Gloster. “(But) we try to get multiple sources of data.”

According to Gloster, there are several international, national and provincial ranking systems used to ensure students measure up to competitive standards; but the teachers also do several forms of in-school testing on a daily to weekly basis to make sure kids are keeping pace.

“Canada scores quite well, we’re usually in the top handful of countries on the PISA,” said Gloster, pointing out the international ranking is not broken down to the school district level, though the province, as a whole, does well.

Gloster did not answer which schools have raised red flags specifically using the school districts’ assessment models, but said there are at least 10 elementary schools which are receiving extra resources to help ensure there’s a level playing field based on their level of vulnerability.

“We do differentiate support. We will look at schools, and how students are doing in those schools, and we will look at adjusting staffing levels, for example, and giving additional support,” said Gloster.

While the report clearly ties socio-economic status and the percentage of new immigrants to school performance, the superintendent points out the data reported shows the two are not necessarily tied at all.

Some schools with lower economic brackets, like Springvalley Elementary where the combined parental income averages $38,000, still outperform others, while some higher economic bracket schools, like South Kelowna Elementary with a combined $100,000 annual family income, perform in just about the same middle-of-the-pack range.

The school district does use neighbourhood socio-economic data, and UBC researcher Clyde Hertzman’s Early Development Instrument to assess the level of support young children have going into Kindergarten.

Children are assessed in Kindergarden through Grade 3 on the early learning development profile.

That said, the report card data is heavily skewed toward families with money, illustrating on a standardized test, schools with higher income brackets do tend to do really well.

Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
UPDATE: West Kelowna fire crews rescue injured mountain biker

The injury took place at the top of Smith Creek Road

Kelowna flags were flown at half-mast after the discovery of a residential school burial site in Kamloops. (File photo)
Central Okanagan school board chair reflects on recent tragedies

Moyra Baxter offers condolenses to residential school victims, slain Muslim family

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read