li-student-pencil-20111021

According to a new study rural high schools in Saskatchewan are ranking higher than city high schools. (CBC)

For the second year in a row Saskatchewan rural high schools have been ranked higher than those in larger cities, according to a study that has graded 170 schools.

Topping the provincial list in the number one spot with an A grade is a small school of about 97 students in the Prairie South division called Glentworth Central School, south-west of Moose Jaw.

Glentworth Central School moved up from third place last year.

The only other school in the province that received an A was Central Butte School, also part of Prairie South.

A Saskatoon francophone high school, ECF pavilion Gustave Dubois, placed eight with a mark of A-.

None of the English language high schools in either Regina or Saskatoon made the top 10 list, the highest ranked out of the two cities was Campbell Collegiate in Regina with a B grade.

The lowest ranked school with a grade of F was Regina's Scott Collegiate.

The study was put together by the Halifax-based Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) and the prairie-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

The report assesses school performance during the 2006-07, 2007-08, and 2008-09 school years.

High schools were rated on more than a dozen factors, including student-teacher ratios, student grades and passing rates.

"The purpose of the ranking is to give parents, citizens, universities and other post-secondary institutions some information on how the schools are performing as well as how the children are performing in the schools," said Rodney Clifton from the Frontier Centre. 

Clifton suggests some reasons for the disproportionate number of small town schools being ranked higher than city schools.

"Maybe students in the smaller communities are spending more time, the teachers are teaching more diligently and other things that could be going on in the [rural] schools that can result in having a more effective impact upon the students."

Education Minister Russ Marchuk said he will use the report to understand the positive factors that make an impact on students, as well as assess the areas that need support.

"No information is bad information so long as we use it to improve the lives of our kids," said Marchuk.