The C.D. Howe Institute
A national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to improve Canadians' standard of living by fostering sound economic and social policy.
The Institute promotes the application of independent research and analysis to major economic and social issues affecting the quality of life of Canadians in all regions of the country. It takes a global perspective by considering the impact of international factors on Canada and bringing insights from other jurisdictions to the discussion of Canadian public policy. Policy recommendations in the Institute's publications are founded on quality research conducted by leading experts and subject to rigorous peer review. The Institute communicates clearly the analysis and recommendations arising from its work to the general public, the media, academia, experts, and policymakers.
The Institute encourages participation in and support of its activities from business, organized labour, associations, the professions, and interested individuals.
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The David Johnson/C.D. Howe Institute Ontario School Performance database
There are about 4000 publicly funded elementary schools in Ontario. Can we determine which do the best job of educating students? Yes – but not through the measurement methods that have been prevalent until recently.
Each spring, for the past eight years, Ontario students in Grades 3 and 6 write assessments administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). If a student scores at a Level 3 or Level 4 in these assessments, that student's performance is classified as successful. The percentage of students that achieve a Level 3 or Level 4 in each grade at a given school is published annually. And it is on that basis that schools have generally been evaluated.
The 2009 Ontario school performance rankings.
The 2009 Ontario school community profiles.
The David Johnson/C.D. Howe Institute Alberta School Grades Database (2007)
There are about 2,240 elementary schools in Alberta. Can we determine which do the best job of educating students? Yes – but not through the measurement methods that have been prevalent until recently. Each January, Alberta students in Grades 3 and 6 write assessments in various subjects administered by Alberta Education under the Achievement Testing Program. If a student scores at a level called the ‘standard of excellence’ in these assessments, that student's performance is classified as successful. The percentages of students that achieve the standard of excellence in each subject and grade at a given school are published annually. It is on that basis that schools have generally been evaluated.
The 2010 Alberta school performance indicators
The 2010 Alberta school community profiles
The David Johnson/C.D. Howe Institute British Columbia School Grades Database (2008)
Standardized testing is a controversial subject, particularly in British Columbia. British Columbia students write the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) in Grade 4 and Grade 7. This is a standardized exam that is comparable between years and tests students on numeracy, reading, and writing. What is the best way to make use of this data to determine which schools do the best job of educating students?
Standardized test results can be a valuable resource as long as they are placed into the proper context. It is no surprise that students who have parents with more education or speak English as a first language do far better on standardized tests than otherwise disadvantaged students. This Commentary compares outcomes in British Columbia schools where students come from similar backgrounds.
The 2010 BC school performance indicators
The 2010 BC grade 4 community profiles
The 2010 BC grade 7 community profiles
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