Vancouver Island school superintendent says ranking ‘does more harm than good’

Elementary schools ranked annually by Fraser Institute

The controversial Fraser Institute ranking of B.C. elementary schools is back and so are its critics.

The report card ranks 955 public and private elementary schools based on 10 academic indicators that are derived from the province-wide Foundation Skills Assessment results, according to a new release issued Thursday.

School District 69 (Qualicum) interim superintendent of schools Keven Elder said he believes that although the Fraser Institute “has a right to do what they are doing, their work does more harm than good.”

He said the data, methods and algorithms the institute uses paint a very narrow picture.

“They fail to capture what truly counts as success in a modern education system, that being a wide range of experiences in intellectual development, social-emotional learning, Indigenous ways of knowing, arts, physical literacy, career explorations, community service, supports for vulnerable learners and so much more,” Elder said. “Those successes are experienced by our students every day. Our students and parents are getting what they simply would not get in schools that top the rankings.”

Elder said he believes that some of the schools from around the province that are at the bottom of the rankings are doing some of the “best work in service to children whose life experiences are challenging.”

“Being at the bottom of a narrow-measured list does them far more harm than good,” he said. “As for our community, if people want to know how schools are doing, visit them, look at our planning documents and see our school websites. Engage with schools, and with our outstanding teaching, support and administrative staff, every chance you get.

“Our doors are open; come in and see what really creates student success, and what leads our learners toward graduating with dignity, purpose and options.”

The complete list of school rankings can be found here.

— With files from Black Press

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