The view hasn’t changed much from here
By: Charles Cirtwill
It is fitting that the third AIMS’ report card on Atlantic Canadian high schools is being released only a few months after the latest international data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). In 2001, the
The relative success of
Despite this mixed reaction, AIMS has collected even more data from the provinces and local school districts for this latest report card. Student retention year over year has been added, expanded provincial exam results have been secured and more post-secondary institutions have supplied achievement results. In fact, the measures reported have more than doubled this year.
In the first two report cards, only contextual grades were assigned and reported – how well a school did against “reasonable expectations” for that school. This time AIMS will be reporting both contextually adjusted results and the absolute comparative performance of each school.
Success, both absolute and in the face of significant challenges, will be identified and celebrated. It is this identification of how to make schools work in every context that is at the heart of the Report Card concept.
First, our children deserve the best education we can give them. Second, education happens in individual classrooms and in individual schools, not in some amorphous “system”. Third, until the performance of individual schools is tracked and reported publicly there is little incentive to change and no evidence on which to base that change.
This message is reverberating within and beyond the education establishment in our region. Principals, teachers, parents, students, community members, mayors, municipal councils, school board representatives, school advisory councils and even provincial politicians have all contacted AIMS interested to learn more about the Report Card and how to apply it to help their local schools.
National philanthropic foundations with proven records of supporting innovative public policy research have united with members of our local community to put the resources in place to sustain and expand this work into the future.
One vocal proponent of this work is
With this support and the growing number of community partners and advocates, AIMS is working to make a difference in the region’s schools and to build a model of measurable school success and targeted educational investment that can be replicated elsewhere.
Charles Cirtwill is the Vice President of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, a Halifax based public policy think tank, and head of the Institute’s Education and School Reform Project.