Toronto schools score poorly in annual rankings

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Toronto public schools are falling behind the rest of the province when it comes to the quality of education they deliver, says a report released Sunday.

The Fraser Institute's Report Card on Ontario's Secondary Schools assigned an average grade of 5.3 out of 10 to 73 schools within the City of Toronto.

That score compares to a provincial average of six out of 10 and a GTA-wide average of 6.2 out of 10.

"Our analysis shows that Toronto schools, especially public schools, are doing on average below the rest of the province," Michael Thomas, the Fraser Institute's associate director of school performance studies, told CP24. "There is a lot of room for improvement."

The report, which is published annually, rates 718 public, Catholic, and francophone secondary schools based on data from the annual province-wide tests in literacy and math.

Though Toronto schools did not fare well overall, they did account for nine of the top 20 fastest improving schools and Thomas said that should be seen as a very encouraging sign.

The fastest improving school according to the Fraser Institute is Monarch Park Collegiate near Coxwell and Danforth avenues. The school scored a 6.7 in this year's report, up from an average score of 4.4 over the last five years.

"That is an excellent thing," Thomas told CP24. "Our report card is meant as a tool for improvement, so it's very important that we identify which schools are improving so boards and educators can try to identify what made them successful and try to replicate it."

The Fraser Institute report scores schools primarily on test scores from Grades 9 and 10, but also takes into account socioeconomic factors such as average parental income.

The report, however, warns schools not to use socioeconomic factors as an excuse for poor results.

"The more effectively the school enables all of its students to succeed, the weaker will be the relationship between the home characteristics of its students and their academic success," the report states. "Thus, this socioeconomic indicator should not be used as an excuse or rationale for poor school performance. The effective school will produce good results regardless of the family background of its students."

St. Michael's Choir near Dundas and Church streets had the top score with a 9.6 out of ten.