Report cards for OCDSB schools – use with caution…

Here is how the OCDSB schools ranked according to the Fraser Institute school “report card” that was released on Friday.

As a statistician, I do have some serious issues with rankings like these – much like the EQAO testing process itself – there is no context presented in order to interpret these numbers fully. Unknown are factors that can greatly influence a schools performance, like:

  • the percentage of students in ESL programs
  • proportion of special needs students
  • family income and household education
  • and others…

The Fraser Institute says the following on their website:

By combining a variety of relevant, objective indicators of school performance into one easily accessible public web site, the school report cards allow teachers, parents, school administrators, students, and taxpayers to analyze and compare the academic performance of individual schools in an attempt to answer the question, “How are our schools doing?”.

Fine. Take this at face value, but the danger is that some parents will use tools like these as their ONLY basis of judgement about a particlar school. THAT is where I have a problem. Still, this is a tool that might be combined with others to help make decisions about the relative merits of one school over another. In that case, rankings like these can have some limited value.

Anyhow, here is the list. It would be interesting if someone organized these according to zone…

2009-10 Rank
Rank in the most recent five years School Name City 2009-10 Rating Rating in the most recent five years
1 44/2733 25/2327 Katimavik Elementary School Kanata 9.4 9.4
2 70/2733 107/2327 Knoxdale Public School Nepean 9.1 8.4
3 82/2733 514/2327
Hopewell Avenue Public School
Ottawa 9 7.2
4 99/2733 107/2327 Devonshire Community Public School Ottawa 8.9 8.4
5 122/2733 48/2327 Woodroffe Avenue Public School Ottawa 8.8 8.8
6 139/2733 171/2327 Briargreen Public School Nepean 8.7 8.1
7 229/2733 n/a Hilson Avenue Public School Ottawa 8.3 n/a
8 262/2733 n/a Osgoode Public School Osgoode 8.2 n/a
9 288/2733 292/2327 Elmdale Public School Ottawa 8.1 7.7
10 316/2733 142/2327 Stephen Leacock Public School Kanata 8 8.2
11 355/2733 n/a Steve MacLean Public School Gloucester 7.9 n/a
12 396/2733 259/2327 W.O. Mitchell Elementary School Kanata 7.8 7.8
13 423/2733 331/2327 Broadview Public School Ottawa 7.7 7.6
14 423/2733 411/2327 Adrienne Clarkson Elementary School Ottawa 7.7 7.4
15 423/2733 n/a Roch Carrier ES Kanata 7.7 n/a
16 459/2733 221/2327 Rockcliffe Park Public School Ottawa 7.6 7.9
17 459/2733 812/2327 Blossom Park Public School Gloucester 7.6 6.7
18 508/2733 1076/2327
Lady Evelyn Alternative School
Ottawa 7.5 6.3
19 552/2733 331/2327 Mutchmor Public School Ottawa 7.4 7.6
20 552/2733 331/2327 W. Erskine Johnston Public School Kanata 7.4 7.6
21 601/2733 142/2327
First Avenue Public School
Ottawa 7.3 8.2
22 601/2733 292/2327 Jack Donohue Public School Kanata 7.3 7.7
23 601/2733 567/2327 Castor Valley Elementary School Greely 7.3 7.1
24 601/2733 1137/2327 D. Roy Kennedy Public School Ottawa 7.3 6.2
25 601/2733 1208/2327
Terry Fox Elementary School
Orléans 7.3 6.1
26 767/2733 936/2327 Berrigan Elementary School Nepean 7 6.5
27 767/2733 1262/2327 Huntley Centennial Public School Carpion 7 6
28 767/2733 n/a Farley Mowat Public School Ottawa 7 n/a
29 828/2733 936/2327 John Young Elementary School Kanata 6.9 6.5
30 964/2733 567/2327 Fallingbrook Community Elementary School Ottawa 6.7 7.1
31 964/2733 1137/2327 Churchill Alternative School Ottawa 6.7 6.2
32 964/2733 1498/2327 Meadowlands Public School Nepean 6.7 5.6
33 1025/2733 873/2327 Castlefrank Elementary School Kanata 6.6 6.6
34 1025/2733 936/2327 Henry Larsen Elementary School Gloucester 6.6 6.5
35 1025/2733 936/2327 Roland Michener Public School Kanata 6.6 6.5
36 1025/2733 1324/2327 Vincent Massey Public School Ottawa 6.6 5.9
37 1114/2733 465/2327 Parkwood Hills Public School Nepean 6.5 7.3
38 1114/2733 1137/2327 Trillium Elementary School Orléans 6.5 6.2
39 1114/2733 1208/2327 Pleasant Park Public School Ottawa 6.5 6.1
40 1185/2733 1208/2327 A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School Stittsville 6.4 6.1
41 1185/2733 2009/2327
Severn Avenue Public School
Ottawa 6.4 4.3
42 1244/2733 1983/2327
Manor Park Public School
Ottawa 6.3 4.4
43 1244/2733 n/a South March Public School Kanata 6.3 n/a
44 1358/2733 873/2327 Stonecrest Elementary School Woodlawn 6.1 6.6
45 1358/2733 1208/2327 Maple Ridge Elementary School Orléans 6.1 6.1
46 1476/2733 1262/2327 Leslie Park Public School Nepean 5.9 6
47 1476/2733 1498/2327 Bridlewood Community Elementary School Kanata 5.9 5.6
48 1601/2733 567/2327 Orleans Wood Elementary School Gloucester 5.7 7.1
49 1601/2733 1389/2327 Sawmill Creek Elementary School Gloucester 5.7 5.8
50 1601/2733 1607/2327 Alta Vista Public School Ottawa 5.7 5.4
51 1674/2733 1549/2327 Elgin Street Public School Ottawa 5.6 5.5
52 1674/2733 n/a Avalon Public School Orléans 5.6 n/a
53 1794/2733 936/2327 Century Public School Nepean 5.4 6.5
54 1846/2733 1549/2327 Greely Elementary School Greely 5.3 5.5
55 1889/2733 1652/2327 Robert Bateman Public School Ottawa 5.2 5.3
56 1889/2733 n/a Centennial Public School Ottawa 5.2 n/a
57 1944/2733 1778/2327 Roberta Bondar Public School Ottawa 5.1 5
58 1944/2733 n/a Dunning-Foubert Elementary School Orléans 5.1 n/a
59 1987/2733 567/2327 Dunlop Public School Ottawa 5 7.1
60 1987/2733 n/a York Street Public School Ottawa 5 n/a
61 2098/2733 1778/2327 Riverview Alternative School Ottawa 4.7 5
62 2098/2733 n/a Cambridge Street Community Public School Ottawa 4.7 n/a
63 2316/2733 1607/2327
Manordale Public School
Nepean 4.1 5.4
64 2356/2733 2009/2327 Hawthorne Public School Ottawa 4 4.3
65 2414/2733 2113/2327 Charles H. Hulse Public School Ottawa 3.8 3.9
66 2434/2733 1954/2327 Elizabeth Park Public School Gloucester 3.7 4.5
67 2477/2733 1778/2327 Heritage Public School Navan 3.5 5
68 2492/2733 2191/2327 W.E. Gowling Public School Ottawa 3.4 3.5
69 2509/2733 n/a Queen Elizabeth Public School Ottawa 3.3 n/a
70 2618/2733 2223/2327 Connaught Public School Ottawa 2.5 3.2
71 2618/2733 2305/2327
Robert E. Wilson Public School
Vanier 2.5 2.1
72 2633/2733 2147/2327 Arch Street Public School Ottawa 2.4 3.8
73 2639/2733 2320/2327 Queen Mary Street Public School Ottawa 2.3 1.4
74 2720/2733 2307/2327 Pinecrest Public School Ottawa 0.4 2

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4 Comments to “Report cards for OCDSB schools – use with caution…”

  1. […] Read a previous post I wrote on the value of these rankings. […]

  2. […] The Fraser Institute’s ranking of secondary schools Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginI have posted the rankings for the elementary schools in the OCDSB in a past entry and the same cave… […]

  3. SD says:

    I agree with your thoughts.

    I will add that last week, I supply taught a couple of grade-three classes where I had to teach students how to understand key-words that will appear on the EQAO tests, and how to give effective responses using the APE (Answer-provide text Proof-Extend with connections from your own life). I had to teach them strategies on what to do if one gets stuck on a question.

    “Read the question again. Look at key words. Skip to the next question.”

    What do students do if they cannot spell certain words?

    Are students allowed to write a response outside the box or lines?

    I would estimate that about half of the marks students receive on the EQAO tests are based on the ability to respond to questions according to how the EQAO examiners want students to respond–the mechanics. The other half is based on knowledge of the content and critical thinking. If teachers did not teach their students how to respond effectively to EQAO test questions, the students would perform poorly on those tests even if they understood the content.

    I would love to see two grade-three or grade-six teachers split their students for two weeks. The students could be split so that there would be an equitable distribution of boys and girls with high, medium, and low academic standings. During those two weeks, the teachers would teach one group test taking strategies while the other group would review curriculum content. The teachers would switch in the teaching of test taking strategies and curriculum content while the students would remain focused on test strategies or the curriculum. I would guess that the students who took two weeks of intensive test strategies would perform better than those who learned or reviewed the curriculum.

    • trashee says:

      And that is the problem with any type of standardized test. Being standardized, the content is more or less known beforehand. I work in the Public Service and they way we are “promoted” is through something called a “competitive process” whereby anyone who believes they are quailified for a higher level position can apply and go through what we call a “Board”. The Board usually consists of a test and an interview and because the process needs to be fair, the same questions are asked of each candidate who is screened in to the test/interview phase.

      But, we’ve all done this at least a few times and we more or less know what the questions will be beforehand. And yes, there is training available – formal and more informal – on how to pass a Board.

      So the question becomes, was a candiate successful on a Board because he or she was best qualitified – or are were they simply better prepared for the Board questions? This is why, in recent years, references have played a more important role in assessing whether or not a candidate is ready for the next level of responsibility.

      In my mind, this is very similar to standarized testing in schools. There will be those schools whose staff may be more focussed on success from a EQAO point of view and those that are not so concerned. And there are those schools where the students are of a background that is not suited to the types of questions asked on the tests, and those schools where the questions are easily understood and related to.

      These tests can be valuable – but as only one piece of the puzzle and the the entire picture.

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