Fraser Institute rankings list best/worst elementary schools in the North Okanagan

How's your school stack up?

As per usual, private schools and those in wealthier neighbourhoods have topped the list in the Fraser Institute's annual ranking of elementary schools in British Columbia.

No less than 17 private schools in the Lower Mainland tied for the top spot with perfect 10-out-of-10 scores

The think-tank ranked all 931 elementary schools in the province, based on standardized test results.

In the North Okanagan, Kidston Elementary in Coldstream came out on top with a score of 7.8, placing it in 131st spot in B.C.

The North Okanagan's lowest-ranked school was Vernon's Alexis Park Elementary, with a score of 3.3., which put it in 869th place.

But the controversial results are typically scoffed at by teachers, who argue the findings only serve to reinforce stereotypes and divide the community, while not providing a full picture of children's education.

"The Fraser Institute ranking is a narrow measure that does not include many measures of student success," Vernon School Supt. Joe Rogers said in 2017.

"The district does not feel it is appropriate or productive to compare schools.  Each school has a unique set of circumstances that make rankings unfair and sometimes harmful."

The Fraser Institute, meanwhile, says the rankings are the most easily accessible tool for parents to compare the academic performance of B.C. schools.

“The report card offers parents information they can’t easily find anywhere else, about how their child’s school performs over time and how it compares to other schools in the province,” said Peter Cowley, report co-author.

Cowley says data suggests every school is capable of improvement — regardless of neighbourhood or whether it's public or private.

This year’s fastest-improving elementary school, Wickaninnish in Tofino, climbed from a score of 2.3 in 2015 to 7.3 in 2019. 

“We often hear that schools can’t improve because of the communities and students they serve, but the evidence suggests otherwise,” Cowley said.

The North Okanagan rankings are as follows:

  • Kidston Elementary, Coldstream – 7.8  131/931
  • St James Elementary, Vernon – 7.7  140/931
  • Coldstream Elementary, Coldstream – 7.3  188/931
  • Beairsto Elementary, Vernon – 6.9  260/931
  • Vernon Christian School, Vernon – 6.7  303/931
  • Harwood Elementary, Vernon – 6  448/931
  • Hillview Elementary, Vernon – 6  448/931
  • J.W. Inglis Elementary, Lumby – 5.9  468/931
  • BX Elementary, Vernon – 5.8  483/931
  • Silver Star Elementary, Vernon – 5.3  598/931
  • Mission Hill Elementary, Vernon – 4.8  704/931
  • Okanagan Landing Elementary, Vernon – 4.6  731/931
  • Highland Park Elementary, Armstrong – 4.2  804/931
  • M.V. Beattie Elementary, Enderby – 4.1  810/931
  • Ellison Elementary, Vernon – 4  816/931
  • Alexis Park Elementary, Vernon – 3.3  869/931

The complete provincial results can be found here.

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