Public schools indeed doing their job

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Re: “B.C’s public schools exceed expectations,” comment, March 11.

Finally, a commentary that understands the significance of the Foundation Skills Assessment tests (results of which provide opportunities for individual schools to improve overall student achievement).

The emphasis of the Fraser Institute has been to rank schools according to how well a school’s population has done on the tests. It does very little to give the public a true understanding of what that means.

As the commentary articulates, the most important aspect of the FSA results should be to make a comparison of how students have done from Grade 4 to Grade 7. If significant improvement has been made, then that school is doing its job and the students at that school are benefiting.

Being ranked low by the Fraser Institute has more to do with the demographics of students attending the schools — demographics in private-school classrooms are usually much different than in most public schools.

Public schools must accept all students regardless of their socioeconomic status, academic ability, social readiness, behavioural challenges and often medical challenges.

Even with these potential educational detractors, “public schools dominate the schools with the most effective instructional programs”! Wow! I hope that the public absorbs this and understands that it is a direct result of the professionalism of the teachers who see these students on a daily basis and are determined to find ways to challenge them and enable them to succeed.

Dave Hockley

Retired principal

Victoria


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