Elementary schools in the GTA generally performed better compared to the average performance in the province last year, according to the annual school rankings report put out by the Fraser Institute.
“While the average for all schools in our report card was a 6.0 out of 10, GTA schools on average received a rating of 6.5 out of 10,” report co-author Michael Thomas said in an email.
The report rates 2,695 public, Catholic, and francophone elementary schools in Ontario based on nine indicators using data from the government’s province-wide tests of reading, writing, and mathematics.
Thomas said the report is meant to prompt a discussion among parents and educators.
“Schools that perform well should be studied by their school boards to identify what led to their success so that it can be spread to other schools that may need to improve,” he said.
According to the report, 15 out of the 19 schools in the province achieving a perfect 10 were from the GTA.
The report also notes that of the top 19, seven have parental incomes lower than the provincial average.
“In fact, of the 2,695 schools included in the report card, 565 performed above average academically despite having parental incomes lower than the provincial average,” Thomas said in a statement.
Sixteen of the 20 schools in the province showing the fastest academic improvement over the last five years are schools where parental incomes were below the provincial average.
“These results show that both academic excellence and continued improvement in academics is possible in any school, regardless of the personal and family circumstances of its student population,” Thomas said.
The think-tank also notes that there was a slight improvement in the number of students meeting provincial expectations in the exams, with the number of students failing to meet expectations decreasing to 29.5 percent in 2011 compared to 30.1 percent in 2010.
However, Thomas noted there is still work to be done.
“While there has been some improvement over the previous year, more than one in four skills tests written by Ontario elementary students still failed to meet the provincial standard for learning,” Thomas said.