“Out of the schools that ranked 30th or better, just four of them were public.”
That’s the conclusion of the latest Fraser Institute report card on B.C. high schools , which ranks the province’s 294 institutions, according to seven academic metrics.
Study author Peter Cowley says there’s a simple reason independent schools rise to the top of the list.
“One of the things that parents look for in a private school is a general atmosphere of high levels of academic performance. If that’s not present, then its going to be a harder sell for the school to get people to bring their kids there.”
The report finds 28 schools dropped in the rankings, while 21 – including 17 public schools – climbed.
Cowley adds there seems to be a rural urban divide, with Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley schools doing better than the rest.
Cowley says watching those trends is key, because it allows institutions to see what’s working elsewhere.
B.C. Teachers Federation says it’s about money
Cowley says it’s not a question of money.
“The kind of schools that come to mind are those that are in the top 10. Yorkhouse, Crofton House, St. George’s. Those are the very small minority. Most are operated by religious organizations, and their tuitions, in general, are lower than daycare.”
But the president of the B.C. Teachers Federation says the ranking shows that money *is* in fact at the centre of the equation.
Glen Hansman says public schools have trouble cracking the top 30 because of chronic under-funding.
“A lot of the independent schools are able to provide enriched programs and smaller classes in a manner that we used to be able to do in public schools, and we would again if this government or a new government significantly reinvests in public education.”
Hansman says the report’s methodology doesn’t look at students socioeconomic conditions, calling the comparison “apples and oranges.”
You can see the full results here .