A new report from a B.C.-based think tank puts St. Ignatius at the top of the class for high schools in Thunder Bay.

The Fraser Institute's Report Card on Ontario's Secondary Schools 2014 ranks schools according to their students' performance on standardized tests administered by the province's Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).

The report gives St. Ignatius a score of 7.5 out 10, good enough to put it in a tie for 133rd out of 740 Ontario high schools included in the report.

Peter Cowley

Peter Cowley, co-author of the Fraser Institute's Report Card on Ontario's Secondary Schools, says Thunder Bay's high schools show a "mixed bag" of results. (Supplied)

​Hammarskjold High School is ranked second among the seven Thunder Bay schools included, and first among public schools in the city. Its score of 6.6 out of 10 puts it in a tie for 301st in the overall rankings.

Overall, Thunder Bay high schools show a "mixed bag" of results, according to the report's co-author.

"The average for all the schools in the area [is] about 5.3. That compares with 6.0, which is the average overall rating out of 10 for all the schools in the report," said Peter Cowley, who is also the executive vice-president of development and marketing at the Fraser Institute.

The institute's report cards are intended to help parents choose a school for their children, based on how well the school performs academically.

Not all educators sold on report's importance

Some educators in Thunder Bay have said they don't pay much heed to the numbers, however.

When a similar report on Ontario's elementary schools came out last month, McKellar Park Central School principal A.J. Keene said he didn't spend more than 10 minutes thinking about it.

That was in response to the report showing nine out of the top 10 elementary schools in Thunder Bay were from the Catholic school board.

Cowley said no such pattern is evident in the secondary school numbers, as public and Catholic schools in the city fared comparably.

"Between the public and the Catholic schools, there is no such interesting issue as we found in elementary, where most of the high performers were Catholic," he said.