Frequently asked questions

1. Q: Why are some schools not in the report card?
A: Not all schools can be rated and ranked. Here are the minimum requirements necessary for a school to be included in the ranking:
Ontario Elementary Schools
    a) There must be at least 10 students enrolled at the school in grade 3 and at least 10 students enrolled in grade 6.
    b) We must receive test results related to at least 10 students for each of the these six provincewide tests: grade 3 reading, grade 3 writing, grade 3 math, grade 6 reading, grade 6 writing and grade 6 math.
    The following types of elementary schools are not included in the Ontario elementary school rankings::
       i. Schools that enroll students in kindergarten through grade 5. They are not included because they don’t have a grade 6 class and so we don’t receive any grade 6 test results for these schools
       ii. Some single-track French immersion schools. They are not included because their grade 3 students are not required to write all three of the grade 3 provincewide tests and as a result we don’t receive any grade 3 results for these schools.
       iii. Most private schools. They are not included because private schools are not required to administer the elementary years EQAO tests to their students. If they choose not to administer the tests, we will receive no results data and, as a result we will unable to include these schools in the report card.
Ontario Secondary Schools
    a) There must be at least 10 students enrolled at the school in grade 9 and at least 10 students enrolled in grade 12.
    b) We must receive test results related to at least 10 students for either the academic or the applied math tests in grade 9. In addition we must receive test results related to at least 10 students who wrote the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test for the first time or test results related to at least 10 students who wrote the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test and had written it at least once before.
    The following types of secondary schools are not included in the Ontario elementary school rankings:
       i. Secondary schools that do not enroll students in grade 9.
       ii. Most private schools. They are not included because private schools are not required to administer the grade 9 EQAO math tests to their students. If they choose not to administer the tests, we will not receive sufficient data to fairly rate them and so they will not appear in the report card.
2. Q: Where can I get results for schools not in the report card?
A: The Education Quality and Accountability Office may have provincewide test results for some schools that are not in the report card.
3. Q: Should I choose a school based on these results alone?
A: No. The rankings reflect how the school is doing academically compared to the others in the report card. But there are lots of other aspects of a school and its programs that you may wish to consider. You can get a better idea about what the school will offer your child by visiting the school’s web site and by talking to the principal, teachers, and other parents.
4. Q: Does the report card take into account the fact that some schools try to improve their ratings by encouraging lower performing kids not to take the exams?
A: Wherever possible we design the report card to discourage exclusion of any students from the assessments. In Ontario, the elementary and secondary school report cards include an indicator that displays the percentage of tests that could have been written, but that were not written.
5. Q: Why does the website show five years of results for most schools?
A: The report cards provide five years of results for each of the indicators of school performance and for the overall rating out of 10. This provides a more useful picture of how the school has performed and how it might perform in the future. In addition, the Trend indicator shows whether the school’s results are improving, declining, or just staying steady.
6. Q: What is the overall rating based on?
A: In Ontario, the elementary school ratings are based on provincewide test results in reading, writing, and math skills. These tests are written by all students in grade 3 and in grade 6.
The secondary school ratings are based on provincewide math test results written by all students in grade 9 and the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) results. The OSSLT must be successfully completed by all students as a requirement for graduation.
7. Q: Should I consider an Overall Rating below 6 out of ten a failure?
A: No. The rating is designed to have an average value of 6. The school’s rating does not reflect a pass or fail. It simply reflects how far above or below the average of all the rated schools it is performing.
8. Q: Do you report results in the same way that provincial ministry of education does?
A: Each school’s results are based on data provided to us by Ontario’s Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). However, we may display some of the results in different ways than does the EQAO. We do this to make the results as useful as possible to parents and educators.
9. Q: In the report cards why is there an “n/a” reported for some results?
A: Where insufficient data are available for the calculation of an indicator, overall rating, or trend measure, an “n/a” appears in the tables.
10. Q: What does it mean that the report card's results are relative?
A: This means that each school is rated relative to every other school in the report card. So, an overall rating of 10 out of ten doesn’t mean the school’s performance was perfect. It simply means that it performed better than any other school in the report card.
11. Q: Why don’t the report cards include indicators of school performance in areas like trades training, physical education, the fine arts, and development of good citizenship skills?
A: Unfortunately, the school system in Ontario only produces measures of school-by-school academic performance. If results in other areas were available, we would include them in our report card.
12. Q: Is it true that for small schools just a couple of poor exam results can negatively affect the school's overall rating?
A: Yes. In a given year, ratings for smaller schools can be significantly affected either for better or worse by the results of a small number of students. That’s why — particularly when considering the performance of smaller schools — you should consider all the historical results so that you have a better picture of how the school has performed over time.
13. Q: When are the report cards published each year?
A: The report cards are updated as soon as possible after new data become available. We are unable to provide exact publishing dates but, Ontario updates usually occur in February and March.
14. Q: Does the Fraser Institute prepare and/or administer the exams the report cards are based on?
A: No. The Fraser Institute does not prepare or administer exams of any kind. We use the results of ministry of education tests to produce our indicators, ratings, and rankings.






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