by Chris Pickup

The Fraser Institute has released its report on Ontario elementary school rankings for 2017.

The report rates each school’s academic performance on a scale of 1-10 based on nine indicators derived from province-wide mandated grade 3 and grade 6 EQAC (Provincial Education Quality and Accountability Office) tests of reading, writing and math skills.

The tests, which are written over two weeks in May/June give parents, teachers, principals and school boards information about how well students have learned what the province expects them to learn in reading, writing and mathematics.

Of Haldimand’s 16 schools, both public and separate, Oneida Central, River Heights, Seneca Central, Notre Dame and St. Patrick’s have ratings in the top third of the Fraser Institute report card.

The rest of Haldimand’s schools are all middle of the pack except for Hagersville elementary, which sits in a class of its own with a woeful rating.

There are of course several mitigating factors that can influence individual school ratings.

For instance, the whole Dunnville public school district was dealing with boundary changes and upcoming school closures and mergers that may have affected individual students’ scores as they contemplated adjustments to new teachers and different fellow students. There was some controversy as some parents resisted the changes to their children’s schools.

And Caledonia Centennial is becoming Portable City as they struggle to temporarily integrate students from the new McClung Road housing development as they wait for their new school to be built in phase six. Many of these students are dealing with new home environments as well as new schools.

However, there appear to be no obvious mitigating factors in the dismal score given to Hagersville. Some really hard questions need to be asked by both teachers and parents as to the reasons why.

They should take a good look at our top schools to understand what fuels their students’  achievements. Is it the teaching? Is it parental involvement? Is it school spirit, motivated students, or some other factor?

We would be violating copyright to provide any more details here, but anyone may access the full report at ontario.compareschoolrankings.org. There is a downloadable pdf.