Clearview gives failing grade to Fraser Institute report card

Just one elementary school in the immediate Stettler region was given the grade in the annual report

Just one elementary school in the immediate Stettler region was given the grade in the annual report of Alberta elementary schools produced by the Fraser Institute.

For Grade 6 marks for 2011-12, Erskine School was tied for 261 out of 659 schools, with a mark of 6.6.

With 17 students, the school made the minimum 15 students required to qualify for the report.

“We do not give much credence to this kind of reporting done by the Fraser Institute,” said Clearview superintendent John Bailey. “I think all of our schools do excellent work for the students.”

Listed in the greater Stettler area:

Forestburg School ranked 371 with a score of 5.9.

Alix Central School ranked 437 with 5.4.

Coronation School ranked 466 with 5.2.

Delburne Centralized School ranked 480 with 5.1.

Those results are based on average test marks for Grade 3 language arts and math and for Grade 6 language arts, math, science and social studies.

“The assessment criteria they use to rank schools, and imply that one school is better than another, is far too narrow,” Bailey said.

“They look only at results on single tests and as can be plainly seen, they also make a determination based upon income level.

“A far-more influential indicator than average family income is the education level of a child’s mother, but they do not use that.”

Not all provincial elementary schools are included in the ranking.

In some school districts that operate middle schools, the elementary schools might not enrol students in Grade 6, stated the report.

The exclusion of a school from the report card should in no way be construed as a judgment of the school’s ineffectiveness, the Fraser Institute report said.

Clearview strongly considers Alberta Education’s “Accountability Pillar,” which assesses the efficiencies of schools divisions in a broader scope and effectively in 16 areas, he said.

“Of course, it still does not tell the whole story about all of the work going on in our schools,” Bailey said.

“Clearview has work to do to improve results in the provincial achievement test excellence category and in the high school diploma acceptable and excellence categories.”

Since he presented that information last fall, Clearview has set action plans that are in progress to help improve those results, Bailey said.

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