In Brief: AIMS 6th Annual Report Card on Atlantic Canadian High Schools confirms recent international studies that the more we know about our schools the better they are. This article from The Daily Gleaner points out that as New Brunswick cut back on provincial exams and public reporting, student performance suffered.

An independent assessment of English high schools in New Brunswick based on limited information doesn’t impress local educators or a senior analyst.

The annual Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) report card ranked Grand Manan Community School tops in the province.

Fredericton High School ranked third after Kennebecasis Valley High School. Leo Hayes High School placed 16th, while Harvey High School took 41st place.

“This is just another piece of feedback we consider in our annual school improvement planning,” said FHS principal Ann Krause.

The AIMS report card showed FHS did well in all areas.

“We are doing very well, but there is always room for improvement and we are always trying to improve,” she said.

Harvey High School principal David MacMullin said his school is one of the best in the province regardless of its ranking near the bottom.

The AIMS report card showed Harvey High School slid from a B- to a C-.

MacMullin said his school offers students the best in academic and general courses.

“These are not measured in the AIMS report and that simply makes the report interesting, but not a real measure of the school.”

Bobby O’Keefe, AIMS’ senior policy analyst, said the slide in Harvey’s score was due to a decline in the school’s post-secondary achievements.

He said AIMS found there’s a lack of information about schools in New Brunswick’s anglophone system when it was putting together its report card.

He said English schools in New Brunswick were assessed on their students’ post-secondary achievement.

“Due to a lack of information, schools cannot focus on areas that could be improved, and they can’t build on their strengths,” O’Keefe said.

“We are unable to report provincial exam scores or teacher-assigned grades for New Brunswick’s anglophone high schools, and therefore, that important data is not available for use.”

He said New Brunswick has regressed.

“Five years ago, (test and examination) information was available and it isn’t now,” he said.

He said he believes there’s a payoff to releasing test results and other information about schools because when performance data are made public, performance usually improves.

New Brunswick francophone high schools have a limited number of provincial examinations in math and language arts and they report teacher-assigned grades.

AIMS rated Ecole Sainte-Anne in Fredericton second in the province after Ecole Marie-Gaetane in Kedgwick.

English schools outside New Brunswick were assessed based on academic achievement, school marks in math, science, language arts, and provincial examinations.

The assessments considered factors such as out-of-school influences, enrolment, pupil-teacher ratio, teacher training and socio-economic status, among others.

AIMS vice-president Charles Cirtwill said Newfoundland and Labrador provides the widest sets of measures in the region, and P.E.I. is taking steps to improve assessments and reporting of student achievement.

“New Brunswick laments the fact that its students are not performing well on international tests, yet is ignoring the (advice of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) on how to make things better,” he said.

A copy of the report can be found at

“The province needs the benchmarks provided by provincial exams to help identify problems and solve them. By not collecting and reporting teacher assigned grades, they are completely turning their back on data that can help them assess and improve student performance.”