Tests show public schools do well

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


 


I’ve just read John Taylor’s excellent commentary. I was a public-school trustee for nine years, and know from personal experience how skewed the Fraser Institute school rankings are.


When all Grade 12 students wrote tests to graduate, I used the test results to show how well public-school students do compared with private school students. My data were based on seven years, and were not a sample, but an aggregation of the results for all provincial students. The result was eye-opening.


Public-school students scored, on average, three per cent less than private-school students. In other words, if private-school students scored an average of 90 per cent on a socials exam, public-school students scored an average of 87 per cent.


Private schools can pick and choose whom they accept; public schools must accept everyone. Thus, teachers at public schools have less time to devote to those students who might be gifted or need just a little help, yet, in my opinion, they do a marvellous job. And the test results confirm this.


The Fraser Institute rankings are based upon skewed reporting of available data, and are as reliable (statistically speaking) as politically motivated “alternative facts.”


 


Russ Searle


Former school trustee


Gulf Islands district


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