What type of academic program
are you running, TCDSB

di Ynot del July 14, 2022

TORONTO - This is an election year for school Boards around the province. Parents will be choosing schools, where able, for their children and the trustees entrusted with their care.

The Fraser Institute takes the results of numeracy and literacy tests administered by the province through EQAO at grades three, six and nine to identify difficulties and propose remediation where possible, in every school. Both take into account students with special needs and those registered in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program.

The Fraser institute has ranked all schools (Catholic, Private, Public, Aboriginal, Anglophone and Francophone). The rankings are derived from the 3,037 schools in the province which submitted results. Every school, therefore, every parent, has access to these results.

There are four categories; (1) those with scores 7.6 – 10 are top ranked, green; (2) scores between 6 -7.5 for those that require some fine tuning, especially the further the students are below from 7.5, in yellow; (3) danger zone for those in the 4.1 -5.9 range, in deep orange, and (4) serious academic problems between 0 – 4 in red.

The median (halfway) mark is 6.2 out of 10. A total of 1,518 schools achieve that score, province wide. (see above) A score below 6 should be taken as a sign of serious deficiencies in “the learning curve”.

We have taken the 2018-2019 rankings, the ones likely the most recently, non-Covid affected results., to illustrate learning performances.

How does the Toronto Catholic District School Board, the province’s largest Catholic school board, fare?

While its Director, Brendan Browne, appears almost uniquely focused on “issues of inclusion and equity”, trustees are embroiled in Code of Conduct accusations and defamation lawsuits.

Moreover, the Director and his staff cannot explain why they have been experiencing severe declining enrolment for two consecutive years. Nevertheless, their rough estimate for projected enrolment in September hovers around the 85,000-student mark. That number was closer to 10,000 more when Browne became Director.

Today, it operates 155 elementary schools across Toronto. None of them of them scored a perfect 10/10. Only 34 (22%) of its schools are in the green zone.

A mere six rank in the top 100 schools: St. Michael’ Choir School ranked 42nd; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, 46th; St. Bonaventura 60th; St. Marguerite Bourgeoys 70rd; Holy Rosary and St. Henry both at 83rd.

A further 45 schools (29%) ranked at or above the median mark of 6.2. Eight (8) others are below the median, but between 5.9 and 6.1 A total of 57 schools (37%) of the 155 perform in the danger spectrum. Eleven (7%), are performing at the 1.9 - 4.0 level, the failing group – red.

As an aside, the school with the third lowest score, a 3, ranking 2,842/3037, hosts the teacher who is on social media and the mainstream press/media about creating safe spaces for his six- and seven-year-old students. He comes across as a rabid anti-Catholic but still has a job in a Catholic Board.

On a more “positive note”, a respectable 21% of TCDSB schools achieved a rank of 8/10 or better. Twelve of the 155 ranked in the top 200 provincially and a further 22/155 landed in the top 300.

This Board needs committed trustees and staff who can distinguish the difference between career and vocation, and then work towards delivering on latter.

Graphics by Raquel Martins

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