Fraser Institute report card meaningless to SD20, says superintendent

“We at the district and schools in the district, aren't interested in comparing ourselves against other schools around the province.”

Every year, the Fraser Institute releases its school report card, rating all 978 elementary schools across the province.

School District 20 (SD20) schools were included on the list, but Superintendent Greg Luterbach says the report card won’t affect how district schools are run.

“We don’t read it at all,” he said. “We at the district and schools in the district, aren’t interested in comparing ourselves against other schools around the province.”

Rather than rely on the Fraser Institute rating for direction, the district looks at Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) results. The institute also uses those assessment results when compiling its list, but district staff and trustees don’t look at how other schools were ranked.

The FSA results are a way for schools and parents to see how their students are doing in classrooms earlier than the usual end-of-semester report card.

“Then, we talk about (the results) and look at ways to help support student learning,” said Luterbach.

“The district puts no weight on the report and I haven’t seen it, nor will I read it.”

The Ministry of Education echoes Luterbach’s thoughts, saying on their website, “attempting to rank schools or districts based on FSA results invites misleading comparisons that ignore the particular circumstances that affect achievement in each school.”

In the Fraser Institute’s report, St. Michael’s Catholic School, which is outside of the public school system, is the highest ranked Trail school at 121st of 978 schools.

Schools within SD20 ranked relatively low on the list. Rossland Summit school sits at 229 of 978, with Glenmerry close behind in 389th. Fruitvale Elementary is next, with a ranking of 436. Webster Elementary in Warfield is in 707th place, with Kinnaird and Twin Rivers in Castlegar in the lowest spots for SD20, 833 and 935, respectively.

Topping the Fraser Institute’s comparison list were schools located in the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island and the majority are private or Catholic schools not funded by the province.