AIMS is pleased to present its Ninth Annual Report Card on Atlantic Canadian High Schools.
For nine years, AIMS has been presenting a broad set of information about high schools throughout Atlantic Canada. We do this to keep our education providers thinking about progress using good evidence to guide the way. It’s our intention that you use these report cards to ask tough questions of your school boards and schools.
Why do students get high marks from teachers but fail provincial exams? Why aren’t students prepared for university studies? Why is it difficult to keep students coming to school?
These questions establish a greater level of accountability regarding issues that will impact us profoundly in the future. AIMS has been instrumental in influencing our education system to collect and present evidence of their performance. Every Atlantic Canadian province now has some province-wide assessment, provides public access to some performance information, and is collecting more performance information than when we started in 2002.
This year Holland College has joined the ranks of Atlantic post-secondary institutions providing performance data for students. We now receive first-year students’ academic-achievement information from 21 of the 23 postsecondary institutions in Atlantic Canada (only University of Prince Edward Island and Université de Moncton are MIA). Also, New Brunswick Community College has improved its reporting system to allow distribution of average marks rather than just pass-fail rates.
But as we make strides in one area, we’re knocked back in others. New Brunswick’s anglophone sector eliminated its senior-level provincial assessments six years ago. Although they currently remain for the francophone sector, they may be in jeopardy. Financial problems for Nova Scotia’s Department of Education may threaten provincial exams. The 2008/09 language arts exams were assessed by classroom teachers rather than the typical unbiased, centralized markers. This is emblematic of an assessment regime under threat.
So the battle continues, but we’re happy to carry on the fight. In these times where fiscal constraint by our public bodies is necessary to avoid bankrupting future generations, or even this generation, all spending is up for review.
Some see assessment and evaluation of public services as a prime target for cuts. But the cost of knowing if and how well a public service is achieving its objectives is miniscule compared to the cost of not knowing.
Click here to read the full report card.
Click here to read the supporting materials document.
Learn more about AIMS Ninth Annual Atlantic High School Report Card.