“School boards, stop
experimenting with our children”

di Joe Volpe del July 7, 2022

TORONTO - The Toronto District Catholic School Board and its public counterpart should stop experimenting with our children.
Parents can easily become exasperated with the experience of raising school-age children.

Sometimes, they do not know where to turn for help on behalf of their offspring, whose needs change by the day and whose perceptions of life are a rollercoaster of emotions. “Feedback” from objective sources, those without a discernable self interest, help contextualized experiences and provide some guidance.

The Fraser Institute School Rankings (FISR) provide such guidance. They list and track the results achieved by students on province wide tests after grades 3, 6 and nine to show where and what happens when “the rubber hits the road”. The results are not a judgement of the competence of children. Rather they attest to the school outcomes when their strategies for learning are put placed under a common scrutiny.

(click on the graphic to enlarge it)

For the academic year 2018-2019, the last full year before the Covid factor, FISR listed 3037 elementary schools and ranked them according to performance on arithmetic and language scores, making allowances for special education accommodations.

The highest score obtainable is a 10. Some schools do achieve at that level. Seventeen (17) of them, to be exact - only two (2) of them from Toronto. You must be wondering why only one half of one percent of the schools operating a Ministry mandated curriculum can achieve at that level, when 99.5% of them cannot.

The encouraging news for parents who believe that a faith-based environment makes for the best learning experience will find the rankings encouraging.

Of the seventeen which achieved a 10/10, fifteen had a religious affiliation. The observation is not intended to indicate a preference for one religious group over another. It is simply aimed at pointing to the satisfaction probably experienced by parents who feel that a faith-based environment is important in “character-building” while their children grow into skills. That cannot be a comforting statistic for the wokists.

In fact, of the 15, twelve are Islamic or Sikh; three of them Catholic. None of the Catholic schools are from the city of Toronto.

If you are from Toronto, only another nineteen (19) of your schools made it into the top 100 of the 3037 schools.

If you send your children to the TCDSB, only four made it into that circle. The highest ranked elementary school is St. Michael’s Choir School, tied with five other schools at # 42 (!). It is followed by St. Bonaventure (# 60, with ten others); St. Marguerite Bourgeoys (#70 with 13 others): Holy Rosary (# 83, with 14 others).

It is unlikely that the Gang of Four (De Domenico, Di Pasquale, Li Preti, Rizzo), who, along with their woke Director, are running the board into the ground, will have turned this trend around. As if to prove the assertion, earlier in the year they asked the Ministry to exempt the TCDSB from the EQAO testing schedules. For once, the Ministry said, “suck it up” and do your job.

Graphic by Raquel Martins with data from Fraser Institute Report 2020

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