Another year, another report

Last year, I wrote a blog entry entitled “Public Embarrassment”.  It was my response to the media surrounding the release of the Fraser Report ranking the provinces secondary schools.

The Fraser Report website calls what they’re doing

“These Fraser Institute’s ratings and rankings of Ontario schools help parents see how the schools in their city or town are doing academically.”

On the interactive page here, you can see how the 718 schools stack up – each is given a ranking from 0-10.  You can slice and dice the data anyway you want.  You can even see a Google map with schools pinned by their ranking.

Here’s Windsor.  The highest scores are green, then comes yellow, then orange, and then red.



Click on an individual school in the ranking chart and you can see the data that goes into the calculation.

And, of course, the newspapers are all over it.

That’s enough.

I asked last year and, as I reviewed the posting today, I still ask what the point of this is?  Whenever you rank, there’s always a number first and a number last.  The testing results are given to principals and schools who will look at their school improvement plans to see where they can improve.  I still question the value of press releases, posting this information online, and newspapers writing stories about things.  In a day and age where newspapers operate like blogs, comments are open and it’s an opportunity for anyone in the community to take a kick at their local school.

And to what end?

If you’re learning or working at a school not ranked number one, you get to go to school tomorrow with all this hanging over your head.

In the meantime, the media moves on to a new day and new stories.  Wouldn’t it be nice if some enterprising reporter decided to track the professional learning and the efforts that staff and students put in over the next year to improve?  Or, do we just wait for another year and go through the process again?



  1. It’s a farce in BC too! (See my open letter to the Fraser Institute from a few years back -My opinion has not changed. Comments are worth a look too.)

    I think School Districts need to ban together and provide the results to the Ministry in such a way that individual school results would be impossible. District results would still be possible, but this silly ranking would not.

    …Maybe then the potential value of the testing could be realized… As teachers USE the data as assessment for/of learning. For now it is a hoop to jump, and one I exempted both my kids from this year, (in grades 4 & 7 ~both FSA testing years). Why would I have them do a test of any kind to support this ranking when it does not support their learning?


  2. Can’t say that I know? We do emulate a lot of things from Ontario, but I have no idea when the Fraser Institute started undermining education with school rankings in the different provinces?


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