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Alberta public schools show great improvement: Fraser Institute annual Report Card

Public schools are showing great improvement, according to the Fraser Institute's annual Report Card which ranks Alberta’s elementary and high schools, but many private schools remain top of class.

Edmonton public schools and Calgary private academies take top spots

Alberta's two charter high schools achieved the highest average rating of 8.3 (out of 10), followed by private schools (8.1), separate schools (6.3) and public schools (6.0). (CBC)

Public schools are showing great improvement, according to the Fraser Institute's annual Report Card which ranks Alberta's elementary and high schools, but many private schools remain top of the class.

The school that showed the fastest improvement over the past five years was Ecole Mallaig School, a public school north-east of Edmonton. Despite having 25 per cent of students identified as special needs learners, Mallaig's rating has steadily improved to 7.7 in 2015 from 3.5 in 2011, according to the report.

"The data suggests that every school is capable of improvement regardless of the type of school, its location and the proportion of students with special needs or students in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs," the Fraser Institute said in a release.

All 10 of the province's fastest-improving schools are public schools, the report shows.

For overall performance, three high schools were tied for top spot with a perfect score of 10 — Old Scona public school in Edmonton, along with two Calgary private schools — Webber Academy and Rundle College Senior High School.

For elementary schools, Edmonton's Mount Pleasant was ranked top in the province, with a perfect 10 rating for the 2014-2015 school year. Tied in second place was Clear Water Catholic school in Calgary and Stratford public school in Edmonton.

The report rates 307 public, private, separate and charter schools based on five academic indicators generated from grade 12 province-wide testing, grade-to-grade transition and graduation rates.

The ranking has been criticized by school boards in the past for focusing primarily on grades and neglecting other factors such as individual student improvement.

10 fastest improving schools 2011-2015 (all public)

  1. École Mallaig School, Mallaig
  2. Sexsmith Secondary School, Sexsmith
  3. Ernest  Manning High School, Calgary
  4. St. Paul Regional High School, St. Paul
  5. J.A. Williams High School, Lac La Biche
  6. Grimshaw Junior Senior High School, Grimshaw
  7. Lamont High School, Lamont
  8. Peace Wapiti Academy, Grande Prairie
  9. J.C. Charyk School, Hanna
  10. Willow Creek Composite High School, Claresholm

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