This may be the only time I ever say something nice about the Fraser Institute, but this report they’ve done with nifty summaries of each Ontario school’s test results from the past five years is much more useful than anything else I’ve seen. Except for the final rating out of 10, it’s just straight reporting — none of their usual data-mangling. And you can easily ignore the rating and just look at the test scores, so whatever their bias may be isn’t critical to the report’s usefulness. (If you consider test scores useful — a big if.)
The ranking stuff isn’t especially helpful (it’s clear to my eye that parental years of education is the best predictor of school test results, and anyway, does it have to be a competition?), and they don’t seem to have compensated in any way for ESL populations — but putting five years of data together to make the trends evident was a great idea.
Which reminds me —
The grade 3s at M’s school didn’t do all that well on the standardized testing last year.
Consequence: the grade 3 teachers were moved to teaching other grades. Higher grades, apparently.
Then, the NEW grade 3 teachers (who had nothing to do with last year’s tests) were sent for remedial how-to-teach-to-the-test training, as punishment for their predecessor’s failings. Also, the current grade 3s are getting remedial help, even though the kids that didn’t do well are now in grade *4*.
I roll my eyes.