Fraser report cards don’t measure up

In today’s paper you will find the local results of the Fraser Institute’s annual report on B.C.’s schools.

In today’s paper you will find the local results of the Fraser Institute’s annual report on B.C.’s schools.

Usually these results would be first released in the Vancouver Sun and Province, but this year the Fraser Institute approached the Trail Rossland News’ parents company Black Press about getting the exclusive rights to run these report cards before any other media in the province. I was initially opposed to the offer because I believe these “report cards” are really nothing more than fodder for this province’s over-zealous right wing.

I still believe that.

You can’t create a report card on B.C. schools because comparing them is impossible. There are too many factors, such as affluence, poverty, language and population. Maybe this report is relevant from a socio-economic perspective, but that would mean the Fraser Institute should be grading communities and regions rather than schools.

The negative impact of these reports should also not be undermined. Because of its flaws, this report casts what are likely very good schools, and ultimately very good teachers, in a bad light. For example, schools in very poor communities are compared with schools in wealthy communities, and while the schools may be equal in size, that is where the equality ends. There might be wonderful things happening in the poorer school, but that day’s biggest challenge might be maintaining a breakfast program so that students learn on a full stomach.

The decision to run these results was made because they would be released regardless of whether or not this newspaper ran them, and running them would give us the opportunity to provide our readers more than just the Fraser Institute perspective. It would give us the opportunity to write a balanced, fair story on what these results really mean at the local level. I think we have done just that.

Another reason is because I hope it leads to positive and important discussions between parents and their child’s teachers and the school’s administration. I hope that by presenting both sides of this issue, parents will take the time to find out more about their child’s education and the many successes that are happening within our schools, and I truly believe the successes far outweigh the failures. Ultimately, that might be the best report card any school could get.

— Chuck Bennett

Group Publisher, Black Press, Kootenays

Just Posted

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

L’école des Sept-sommets in Rossland receives funding for water upgrade

L’École des Sept-sommets is one of six B.C. schools that will soon have access to healthier water.

No commercial room to let in downtown Rossland

There are no “for rent” signs posted in Rossland’s downtown.

Rossland man to receive Senate 150th Commemorative Medal

A Rossland man has been selected to receive a Senate 150th Commemorative Medal.

Rossland Courthouse undergoing $1.9 million in upgrades

The BC Ministry of Citizens’ Services is making $1.9 million in upgrades to the Rossland Courthouse.

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

200 Russians to compete in Olympics as neutrals

The Russian Olympic Committee expects 200 to compete in South Korea

Researchers claim the ‘man flu’ does exit

Review of scientific studies suggests ‘man flu’ may be more intense: researcher

Trudeau appoints Supreme Court chief justice

Prime Minister Trudeau appoints Richard Wagner as Supreme Court chief justice

Liberal Hogg wins South Surrey-White Rock byelection over Conservative Findlay

B.C. riding to be represented by non-conservative for first time in decades

Six-year-old boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick Sooke boy asks government to help fund treatments

Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

Construction industry, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic about how the project will look

Be ladder safe both at work and home

WorkSafeBC wants you to keep safe while hanging those Christmas lights this year

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

Most Read