Windsor Park, Old Scona ranked top Edmonton schools on Fraser Institute’s Alberta list

The Fraser Institute Alberta school rankings were made public on June 15. File / Getty Images

One Edmonton school is in a three-way tie for the top Alberta elementary school, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual rankings.

For the 2017-18 year, Windsor Park public elementary school was given a score of 10 out of 10 and came in first, along with Master’s and Renert schools in Calgary, out of 852 public, Catholic, independent and charter schools across the province.

According to the Fraser Institute report, Windsor Park has nearly 41 per cent English as a second language (ESL) students. In 2018, it had a Grade 6 average language arts mark of 90.6 per cent, Grade 6 average math mark of 94.2 per cent, Grade 6 average science mark of 95 per cent and Grade 6 average social studies mark of 92.3 per cent.

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Old Scona High School earned the top spot for Alberta high schools. Old Scona tied for the top spot (out of 262 public, independent, Catholic and charter Alberta high schools) with two in Calgary: Webber and Calgary French and International school.

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For the 2017-18 year, Old Scona public school was given a score of 10.

According to the Fraser Institute report, Old Scona has 4.9 per cent ESL students. In 2018, it had an average exam mark of 86.1 per cent, 0.3 per cent exams failed, and a 100 per cent diploma completion rate.

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“School rankings provide no meaningful information to help improve education,” Alberta Teachers Association President Greg Jeffery said in a statement.

“They aim to promote competition in our world-class education system, which has thrived on values of collegiality and collaboration.

“Let’s stop ranking schools: parents don’t want it; teachers don’t like it and it’s not good for students.”

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READ MORE: Fraser Institute spots worrying trend in annual report on Alberta high schools

For the 2017-18 year, the lowest-ranking Edmonton elementary school was Tevie Miller, with a score of 0 out of 10. Five other Alberta schools received scores of 0, including Piitoayis Family school in Calgary, Mamawi Atosketan in Ponoka, Heinsburg school, Gift Lake school and Exshaw School.

The lowest-ranking Edmonton high school was Braemar, with a score of 0.6. Three other Alberta high schools scored lower: Fort Vermillion school, Mistassiniy School in Wabasca and St. John Bosco in Grande Prairie. All three of those schools received a score of 0 out of 10.

The Fraser Institute rankings were made public on June 15.

The list ranks elementary schools based on eight academic indicators derived from province-wide test results. It ranks secondary schools based on nine indicators from Grade 12 provincial testing, grade-to-grade transition and graduation rates.

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In a news release, the public policy research group said the data suggests every school can improve, “regardless of type, location and student characteristics.”

Balwin public school in Edmonton is an example, the Fraser Institute said, because it is the fastest-improving elementary school in the province and has a 42.2 per cent ESL population and 25.5 per cent of students have special needs.

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Between 2014 and 2018, Balwin’s score went from 0 to 4.5.

Spokespeople for both Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Catholic said the districts don’t normally comment on on the Fraser Institute rankings. Edmonton Catholic added it believes the findings are from a snapshot in time and don’t reflect the entire school year nor student growth.

To search the Fraser Institute’s complete Alberta school rankings, click here.

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