Educators doubt value of ranking

NANAIMO - A private school is the highest-ranked Nanaimo area school in the 2015 Fraser Institute Report Card on B.C. Elementary Schools.

A private school is the highest-ranked Nanaimo area school in the 2015 Fraser Institute Report Card on B.C. Elementary Schools.

Aspengrove School in Lantzville was 24th overall in the province. Rounding out the top five in Nanaimo was École Hammond Bay Elementary, Learn at Home K-7 program, Nanaimo Christian School and Departure Bay Elementary School.

The Fraser Institute, a right-wing think tank, generates the elementary school report based on Foundation Skills Assessment testing results.

Some educators question the value of the rankings.

Steve Rae, school board chairman, said he doesn’t put much credence in the rankings.

He said private schools have more money at their disposal.

“They have the benefit of raising their own money. It costs a lot of money for people to go there. It’s not comparing apples to apples, as far as I’m concerned,” said Rae. “We are publicly funded and we do an amazing job with what we have. To me, we can’t compare them equally.”

Elisabeth Reay, Aspengrove admissions director, said the school was pleased to hear of the results, but added that her school looks at individual skills assessment results, not rankings.

“There are a lot of things that go into the scores that come out of the rankings, so for us, there are so many variables it’s not really a true picture of a school, whether it’s our school or any other school in the district,” said Reay. “It doesn’t give you a true picture of what goes on within the walls of a school.”

The institute’s secondary school rankings are tentatively scheduled to be released next Thursday (May 14).