Fraser Institute shows little change in Chilliwack schools

Timothy Christian scores near perfect marks, while Chilliwack elementary drops considerably

The Fraser Institute has released this year's rankings of B.C. private and public schools

The Fraser Institute has released this year's rankings of B.C. private and public schools

Chilliwack’s schools have rated much the same as in previous years in the contentious Fraser Institute rankings.

The academic performance is rated annually by the Canadian public policy think tank, marking a school’s Grade 4 and 7 abilities in reading, writing, numeracy. It also notes each school’s ESL, special needs, and French immersion population, and in some cases, the average parental income.

As with other years, this city’s private schools placed well in comparison to the public schools. Timothy Christian’s elementary program is ranked top of the list, placing 19th out of the province’s 944 schools, with a tally of 9.9 out of 10. Its high school program ranks 9 out of 10.

The results of academic achievement are taken from the Foundation Skills Assessments that take place each year for Grade 4 and 7 students.

Chilliwack Central elementary dropped down to a 2.7 out of 10, landing at 908 out of the 944 schools. In 2015, 45.5 per cent of the students tested were below grade expectations. However, Central also has a large number of ESL (13.3%) and special needs students (15.9%).

Chilliwack secondary also showed a downward trend, dropping to a 4 out of 10. The average exam mark at CSS in 2015 was 64 per cent and the graduation rate was 86.7 per cent.

GW Graham’s results in 2015 were similar, with 68.3 per cent as an exam average and a 87.9 per cent grad rate.

Sardis showed slightly better results with an average exam mark of 68.4 per cent and a grad rate of 94.1 per cent. It received an overall rating of 6 out of 10.

The Fraser Institute results are often taken with a grain of salt by educators who look at the whole school, however. And even the Fraser Institute cautions against using the numbers as a sole indicator of school success, noting in the fine print of the report “of course, a sound academic program should be complemented by effective programs in areas of school activity not measured by the Report Card.”

It also adds “indicator results for small schools tend to be more variable than do those for larger schools and caution should be used in interpreting the results for smaller schools.”

The Fraser Institute website lists all the schools in a comparative database, updated every year. It can be found at www.compareschoolrankings.org.