Moncton, NB – Two years ago Nova Scotias Freedom of Information czar ruled the public had a right to know how the provinces students are doing. Today not a single school board is honouring that ruling, keeping parents, students and educators in the dark about how well each school performs in its mission to educate its communitys children.

They have the information. They just don’t publicly report it.

When pressed, Strait Regional School Board, Halifax Regional School Board, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, and Conseil scolaire acadien provincial were all able to supply both historical and current data for provincial exams and the associated teacher assigned grades.

Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, South Shore Regional School Board, and Tri-County Regional School Board on the other hand, were only able to supply information for the most current year (2005-2006).

Chignecto-Central Regional School Board meanwhile stands alone, as the only board not to supply separate provincial exam and teacher assigned grade data for its high schools.

“This is particularly troubling in light of an indepth report in 2007 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which found a direct link between a country’s achievement on the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) and the publication of performance results at the school level,” explains AIMS Executive Vice President Charles Cirtwill. “The performance improvement was significant even when socio-economic and demographic variables were considered.”

“The OECD was very clear, this effect is strong across many countries and this powerful linkage between publishing results and being able to improve them suggests that external monitoring of standards, rather than relying mostly on schools and teachers to uphold them, can make a real difference to results,” Cirtwill says.

The data that has been released by the boards is now available to the public as part of AIMS 6th Annual Report Card on Atlantic Canadian High Schools, which was released today.

Following the closing of Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax, last year’s top ranked school, the path was opened for a new top performing school to emerge. That opening was seized by  Cape Breton Highlands Academy in Terre Noire jumped from third place in RC5 to take over the number one spot in the province, maintaining an ‘A-’ grade. Cape Breton Highlands was the only school in Nova Scotia to achieve an ‘A’ grade, with Charles P. Allen in Bedford also maintaining its ‘B+’ grade from last year to claim second spot in the rankings. Dalbrae Academy in Southwest Mabou saw its grade drop from an ‘A-’ to a ‘B+’ but still finished third overall.

Several schools saw improvements of two grade levels. Rankin School of the Narrows and Pictou Academy-Dr. T. McCulloch School both improved from a ‘C+’ to a ‘B’. Canso Academy (‘C’ to ‘B-’) and Annapolis West Education Centre (‘C’ to ‘B-’) also improved by two grade levels. Springhill Junior-Senior High School was the only school to see its grade decline more than two levels, falling from a ‘B-’ to a ‘C-’.

Final grades are not awarded to five schools that received grades in RC5 due to an insufficient number of students attending post-secondary institutions, including last year’s second place school, Island Consolidated in Freeport. Similarly, final grades are not awarded to schools in Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, because many of these schools are relatively small and reporting on their performance in certain areas would risk infringing on the privacy of individual students.

AIMS encourages everyone to look beyond the overall rankings to explore the performance of each school across all of the categories. The On-Line Report Card on the AIMS website ( provides the public with all the available measures for 312 high schools in Atlantic Canada. The On-Line Report Card allows users to access individual school data, compare schools, and also compare results based on specific criteria.

Again this year, AIMS mailed individual report cards to every high school, parent-teacher association, student council and school board in the region so they could have the information before it became public. Similar packages were sent to municipalities and Chambers of Commerce throughout the region. The individual school report cards remind recipients that AIMS is always happy to visit to discuss the report card and how it can be used as a tool for reform.

The AIMS high school report card is published annually in Progress business magazine and a complete copy can be found as a centre insert in this month’s issue. This is the sixth year the magazine has dedicated an edition to the AIMS Report Card.

Follow the links below for more details:


For further information, contact:

Charles Cirtwill, AIMS Executive Vice President

Bobby O’Keefe, AIMS Senior Policy Analyst

Barbara Pike, AIMS Director of Communications