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No BC public high schools in Fraser Institute's top 10

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The Fraser Institute is out with its annual report card on secondary schools in BC and the rankings are sure to stir up a lot of controversy again this year.

It’s all private schools in the top ten with York House (Vancouver), Crofton House (Vancouver) and Southridge (Surrey) making up the top three.

Okanagan Mission is the top public school at 17 and University Hill in Vancouver at 18 is the top public school in the Lower Mainland.

Peter Cowley with the Fraser Institute says it shouldn’t come as a surprise that independent schools fared so well.

“The reason is pretty simple,” Cowley tells News1130.

“One of the things parents look for in a school is they want a high level of achievement to be the norm. They want to send their kids to where the results are good. For those parents who have the capacity to choose a private school, one of the things they’re looking for is academic excellence. If the private schools weren’t to provide that, they would lose their business.”

Researchers examined 284 schools and gave each one a rating out of ten.

“Each of them is ranked on the basis of how they’ve done academically,” says Cowley.

“The way we do that is to take test results, graduation rates and something we called the ‘delayed advancement rate,’ which looks at how fast the kids get through the last three years of school, and we see how each one of the schools is doing on each on each one of those aspects of education.”

Cowley points to Lake Cowichan Secondary on Vancouver Island as an example of a public that is showing steady signs of improvement. “It improved the fastest over the last five years.”

“It started at 2008 at 3.2 out of ten, which is a very low score when you consider the average is six out of ten. Every year they’ve shown the capacity to improve and now they’re at 5.9 and the average parental income is $39,000, which is way below average.”

The BC Teachers Federation has been critical of rankings in the past, arguing they don’t give a clear indication of a school’s performance and don’t take a school’s resources into account.

Click here to view the rankings.