September 14, 2018 2:13 pm
Updated: September 14, 2018 3:59 pm

Catholic Board denies grade inflation at Peterborough high school

PVNC Catholic Board denies grade inflation at St. Peter Secondary School in Peterborough.


The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board is calling a Global News article on credit inflation “nonsense.”

The University of Waterloo Engineering Department is comparing student grades in the program with their high school marks.

In some cases, certain Ontario high schools are showing a trend of grade adjustment.

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St. Peter Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough is high on that list. Ranked ninth, the school has made the list twice — in 2017 and 2018. The average drop-off for grades for the school is listed as 23.5 per cent.

“We completely reject the conclusion in the Global News article that sparked the issue. Somehow suggesting, St. Peter or any high school in Ontario is inflating grades,” said Galen Eagle, manager of communications for the Catholic board.

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Eagle says the article points to the challenge of the transition from high school to university.

“Whether you’re a top grad in your class, that transition to university is very challenging for a variety of reasons,” added Eagle. “You’re away from home for the first time in many cases. You have a lot of new freedoms. The demands are a lot higher. So to inflate the challenges that a student may face in the first year of university with marks from high school is really just nonsense.”

The board declined comment on the “assessment tool that an individual faculty at an individual university uses to apply to applicants.”

“What that article does suggest, from the university perspective, they reiterated they use an adjustment tool. They look at how a student performed after the first year of university and compare that to the grades that student had coming into the university and they make an adjustment,” Eagle said. “That’s just one of the many tools they use.  Whether it’s looking at a student’s community service, extracurriculars, their commitments and expressed knowledge of the program they’re applying to. All those factors into it. Any indication that that’s a sign of inflated marks at the high school level, is beyond stretch of imagination.”

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St. Peter was the only Peterborough area high school on the 74-school list.

The board wouldn’t comment on whether it would follow up with the university regarding this issue.

“St. Peter has had a longstanding advanced math program. It is known for math excellence in the area. Therefore, it may have a higher number of students applying to programs like Waterloo,” Eagle added. “To put it into perspective, we’re talking about a handful of students every year. So it’s a very small data set that they would have to make their adjustment factor.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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