B.C.'s public elementary schools are continuing to improve, according to Fraser Institute rankings.
Out of the 61 schools to show improvement since 2011/2012, 57 of them were public schools. However, independent schools continue to outrank public schools. The average score for independent schools is eight out of 10, compared to 5.6 out of 10 for public schools.
“It is encouraging to see public schools across the province showing signs of improvement. Improving schools can show struggling schools how to help their students achieve better results,” said Peter Cowley, director of School Performance Studies at the Fraser Institute.
This year's report ranked 956 public and independent elementary schools based on 10 academic indicators derived from the province-wide Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) results. The FSA's judge Grade 4 and Grade 7 students on writing, reading and numeracy.
The three fastest improving schools in the province were St. Andrew's in Vancouver, Silverdale in Mission and Upper Lynn in North Vancouver. Out of the top 10 fastest improving school province-wide, seven were public schools.
Mission School District showed strong improvement in four out of their 11 ranked public schools since 2011/12. Mission's Silverdale Elementary School's overall rating moved upward every year from 3.0 in 2012 to 6.4 in 2016.
The top 10 elementary schools in B.C. are all independent school in the Lower Mainland. From one to 10:
- Crofton House in Vancouver
- Holy Cross in Burnaby
- Mulgrave in West Vancouver
- Our Lady of Mercy in Burnaby
- Southridge in Surrey
- St. George's in Vancouver
- Vancouver College in Vancouver
- West Point Grey in Vancouver
- York House in Vancouver
- Corpus Christi in Vancouver
The top three public schools in the province are West Bay, Westcot and Ecole Cedardale all in West Vancouver.
The top school outside of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley is St. Joseph's in Nelson.
The B.C. Teachers' Federation remains dismissive of the rankings.
"For the last couple of years, the BCTF’s official response to the rankings has been this meme on social media," BCTF spokesperson Rich Overgaard said in an email.
— BCTF (@bctf) February 14, 2017
The BCTF has asked parents to withdraw their children from FSA testing for years.
"A single test should never be used to pit school communities against each other," the organization said in an open letter to parents.
"But that is exactly what happens every year and it’s time we worked together to end the misleading practice."