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Bench elementary named one of B.C.'s fastest-improving schools

Taylor Johnston and Anna Ketch perform  during Bench Elementary School
Taylor Johnston and Anna Ketch perform during Bench Elementary School's 2010 Christmas concert. Since that time, the school has shown marked improvement in the annual Fraser Institute School rankings.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

The Fraser Institute has named Cowichan Bay's Bench Elementary School as one of the fastest-improving schools in the province, but the ranking means little to Bench principal David Dougan.

"I don't put a whole lot of stock into the Fraser Institute report, and I think you'll find that no matter which educator you talk to, anywhere," he said on Monday morning.

"There are amazing things happening in all of our district schools, whether they're performing well or not performing well (in the Fraser Institute report).

The annual elementary school performance report was released on Monday. The Fraser Institute, a right-leaning think-tank, rates and ranks public and private schools based on the results of the Foundation Skills Assessment, which tests Grade 4 and 7 students in reading, writing and numeracy.

It also highlights data such as average parental income at each school, the percentage of students with special needs or who speak English as a second language, and how the school has performed in previous years.

"Our report card is the only objective, reliable tool that parents have to compare the academic performance of their child's school over time, and to that of other schools in their community," Peter Cowley, the Fraser Institute's director of school performance studies, said in a media release.

"The Fraser Institute's school report card is the only source for long-term, province-wide school performance data that helps parents monitor the performance of their child's school, and helps educators identify key areas for improvement in their classrooms."

But it's no secret the reports are controversial in the education community.

"I think it's short-sighted on the Fraser Institute's part to rate a school based on the result of a single test," Dougan said.

"We've got a great staff here at the school — and there's great staff at every school in the district."

The full report rates 860 schools and can be found at here.

 

Cowichan Valley schools

Bench Elementary School: 7.7 (up from 6.6); 5.9 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Crofton Elementary School: 6.3 (up from 4.7); 12.2 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Maple Bay Elementary School: 5.9 (up from 5.7); 20.8 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Chemainus Elementary School: 5.8 (up from 5.2); 34.6 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Queen of Angels: 5.5 (down from 7.0); 10.6 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Discovery Elementary School: 5.4 (down from 5.5); 4.8 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Drinkwater Elementary School: 5.1 (up from 4.7); 9.4 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Duncan Elementary School: 4.9 (down from 6.1); 6.5 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Cobble Hill Elementary School: 4.9 (down from 5.0); 9.3 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Khowhemun Elementary School: 3.5 (up from 2.9); 37.0 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Alex Aitken Elementary School: 2.9 (down from 4.4); 31.5 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Tansor Elementary School: 1.9 (down from 3.6); 39.5 per cent of students did not write the FSA

Schools not included in the report: Duncan Christian, Koksilah, A.B. Greenwell (at Yount), Palsson, Somenos Rural Tradition, Ecole Mill Bay and St. Joseph's.

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