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What do standardized tests really reveal about the education system?

Fraser Institute released Grade 4 standardized test results this week.
Image Credit: Fraser Institute
March 10, 2014 - 3:49 PM

PENTICTON -- Penticton schools ranked all over the board on the latest Fundamental Skills Assessment tests, according to a new report by the Fraser Institute released Monday.

The tests are issued to students in Grade 4 and 7, but parents have the option to not have their kids tested.

Penticton’s Holy Cross Elementary received a perfect score, along with 18 other independent schools, and one West Vancouver public school. However, Carmi Elementary ranked 736 out of 982 schools across the province. Other District 67 schools ranked anywhere from 144 to 649 — that’s a 5.3 to 7.7 rating out of 10.

For each public school, the report notes the number of students in French Immersion or ESL programs, and students who have identified special needs or learning disabilities. The report does not, however, provide this information for independent or religious schools.

None of the 17 Holy Cross students tested had Ministry-identified special needs, or spoke English as a second language. However, of the 29 students tested at Carmi, 3 (9.5 percent) had identified special needs, and one student (0.6 percent) who do not speak english as their first language.

The tests are designed to measure basic reading, writing and math skills that students should have from being taught the provincial curriculum. Students are not allowed to ask questions or receive help from teachers during the test, which take several days to complete, as teachers also need to keep on top of a regular schedule.

The test results are meant to help parents decide where to send their children, so long as there is room for the child and the school is in the family’s catchment area.

To contact the reporter for this story, e-mail Meaghan Archer at, or call 250-488-3065.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
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