Cal Secondary school ranked in the middle

The Fraser Institute has released its 2009/2010 Report Card on secondary school performance in the province, and Terrace has once again placed in the middle of the pack.

The Fraser Institute has released its 2009/2010 Report Card on secondary school performance in the province, and Terrace has once again placed in the middle of the pack.

Caledonia Senior Secondary school received a ranking of 164 out of 274 schools in B.C.,  and was given a 5.6 on a scale of 1-10.

The Fraser Institute is a private organization that takes academic results from the Ministry of Education, and uses the information to produce a province-wide report card, which ranks schools from best to worst and then grades them individually on a scale of 1 to 10.

The information used for this report was based on exams marks,  percentage of exams failed, difference in school grades and exam results, graduation rates and delayed advancement. It also took into account the differences in Grade 10 exam marks between male and female students for English and Mathematics.

Peter Cowley co-authored the report and said while Caledonia is not among the worst of the province, a major concern is the lack of improvement throughout the past five years.

“They’re [students at Caledonia] not among the poorest performers,” Cowley said, who characterized the results as a little bit  below average.

Results for Caledonia have stayed relatively the same since 2006 with an overall five year ranking of 177 out of 256.

Caledonia’s vice principal Keith Axelson said information in the report isn’t holding any surprises for the  school.

“Historically we pretty much end up in that neighborhood,” he said.

Axelson explained that while the school appreciates any information about their students, he feels the report is a better socioeconomic indicator than anything else.

“Like anything else, if you have useful information that can help it is always nice to see. In terms of how much credence we put on the report itself, not a whole lot – we know what we face,” he said.

Cowley disagrees that socioeconomics is enough of an explanation for the results of the report.

“We have children’s lives at stake here, this is not something you can just throw away with, ‘oh it’s their economic problems,’” Cowley said.

He suggested the school look to other schools in similar economic situations who have higher academic results and see what they are doing different.

Axelson explained the school knows the kids it is working with –  from the strongest academic students who he says are as strong as any in the province,  to the students who require additional support.

“We rely much more on what we have internally in our school to try and determine the best route to go with our kids and our students,” he said.