Fraser Institute ranking results released Monday showed 11 of the 24 Langley schools rated in the Vancouver think tank’s annual “school report cards” posted poorer numbers or showed no improvement while six did better compared to the year before.
Trends for the seven other Langley schools could not be determined because of “insufficient data” for the previous year, the institute said.
That means fewer than 15 students in those schools took one of the provincial Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests the Fraser Institute relies upon for its results.
The institute was unable to say whether that was a result of parents boycotting the FSA that year or because of changes in classroom composition that reduced the number of available pupils to be tested.
Two of the top three Langley schools, St. Catherine’s Catholic Elementary School and Alex Hope Elementary were in the top 100 schools in B.C. (of 875 surveyed).
St. Catherine’s was number 25 in the province while Alex Hope was number 66.
The third highest-ranked among the Langley schools, Gordon Greenwood Elementary, was 107th.
Those were the schools where a vast majority of students met or exceeded expectations in the FSA tests.
Only four out of every 100 students at St Catherines School failed to meet expectations.
Just seven out of 100 students attending the public Alex Hope Elementary school were in that category and only nine in a hundred at Gordon Greenwood Elementary, also a public school.
At the other end of the spectrum were the three lowest-ranked Langley schools, Nicomekl Elementary, Simonds Elementary and Alice Brown Elementary, all public. Nicomekl ranked 624th in the province, while Simonds was 732nd and Alice Brown was 853rd.
Twenty-six out of 100 Nicomekl students performed below expectations, 38 of 100 at Simonds and 41 out of 100 at Alice Brown.
The year before, the top-rated local school in the Fraser report was Langley Fundamental, which slipped to fourth spot this year.
The percentage of students at Langley Fundamental who failed to meet expectations rose from 8.3 to 9.1 per cent.
One of the lowest rated schools in the previous year’s Fraser survey, Noel Booth Elementary, posted a substantial improvement and rose to the middle of the Langley pack after the number of students who posted below expectations was reduced by more than a half from 31.3 per cent to 12.5.
Noel Booth is now 13th among the 24 Langley schools, 261 among all B.C. schools.
Both the Langley Teachers Association and the Langley Board of Education have taken issue with the Fraser rankings in the past, saying it is not very meaningful to rank schools based on the FSAs because they only test reading, writing and numeracy skills.
The institute has defended its approach, saying the report card gives parents a valid way of comparing the performance of the child’s school against others, something that should encourage competition and lead to improvements.
Roughly one in 10 Langley students refused to take the FSA test, the Fraser report shows.
Detailed results can be viewed at: http://britishcolumbia.compareschoolrankings.org