Chemainus Secondary School was ranked as the third best secondary school in the Cowichan Valley in 2017, according to the Fraser Institute. Two private schools took the top two spots. (File photo)

Chemainus Secondary School was ranked as the third best secondary school in the Cowichan Valley in 2017, according to the Fraser Institute. Two private schools took the top two spots. (File photo)

Brentwood College number one in the Cowichan Valley, according to the Fraser Institute

But many question the institute’s methods

Private school Brentwood College in Mill Bay was the top academic secondary school in the Cowichan Valley in 2017, according to the Fraser Institute.

The right-leaning Fraser Institute released its annual report card on British Columbia’s secondary schools last week.

This year’s report card ranks 253 public and independent secondary schools based on seven academic indicators using student results from annual province-wide exams, grade-to-grade transition rates, and graduation rates.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN’S STANDINGS IN RANKINGS

Brentwood College scored 9.8 out of 10 last year, and was ranked ninth out of the 253 schools in the report.

Private school Shawnigan Lake School came in second place in the Valley in the controversial report card in 2017 with a score of 9.3 out of 10, and ranking 11 out of the 253 schools.

At the other end of the spectrum is Duncan’s Cowichan Secondary School which scored 4.1 out of 10 and ranked 214 out of 253, followed by Mill Bay’s Frances Kelsey Secondary School which scored 5.1 out of 10, and was ranked 182 in the province. Chemainus Secondary was the highest ranked Valley public school with a 7.9 out of 10.

Despite past criticism that their rankings favour independent schools, the Fraser Institute said of the top 50 schools, 23 are public and 27 are independent.

“All too often, we hear excuses that public schools can’t compete with independent schools because of the communities and students that they serve, but that’s just not true,” said Peter Cowley, director of school performance studies at the Fraser Institute.

“Every school can improve and strive to rank higher than the year before.”

The BC Teachers’ Federation has taken exception to the Fraser Institute’s rankings for years.

In a series of Twitter posts after this latest report card, the union called the report “useless clickbait” and urged the province to better protect student data from “misuse.”

“Enough with the useless Fraser Institute rankings,” the union said.

“Our students and their hard work deserve better than clickbait. Have a question about a school? Talk to the staff that work there and the school’s community of parents. They know more than any standardized test.”

Rankings in the Valley:

1) Brentwood College; 9.8 out of 10

2) Shawnigan Lake School; 9.3

3) Chemainus Secondary School; 7.9

4) Lake Cowichan Secondary School; 5.6

5) Queen Margaret’s School; 5.3

6) Frances Kelsey Secondary School; 5.1

7) Cowichan Secondary School; 4.1



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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