Rankings expose deficiencies in education system _ levy _ columnists _ opinion _

There’s one thing besides the constant whining of teachers’ unions for more pay and benefits that has remained constant in the more than 20 years I’ve kept an eye on Ontario’s education system.

Teachers’ unions and many of the educrats who prop up this now $25-billion system loathe standardized testing.

And school rankings like the Report Card on Ontario’s Secondary Schools 2017 done by the Fraser Institute positively make their hair stand on end.

The school rankings — which once again this year compare school results over the past five years to gauge declines and improvements — are based on the scores from the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) standardized tests and other demographic information.

When standardized testing was first introduced in 1996, Ontario’s powerful teachers unions vociferously fought the idea.


Some 20 years later, they still don’t like the idea of “ranking anything,” says long-time education reformer Doretta Wilson.

She says that’s because they don’t like “tall poppies” — that is, any student or school that performs better than another, most likely due to the quality of teaching, or lack thereof.

Paul Bennett, another long-time education reformer and director of Schoolhouse Consulting, says the Tall Poppy Syndrome has been around since Aristotle’s time.

He says it is more often applied to the practice of “denigrating achievements of high achievers” particularly those in high school.

“Public schools that stand out or shine above the others are discomforting when the school system works so hard at conveying the impression that it’s committed to promoting success for all,” Bennett writes.

“Rankings point out the inequalities in how (teaching) work is performed,” adds Wilson. Information about healthy food “The general union mentality is that they like everyone to be the same…and not make anyone look bad.”

Indeed when asked about the Fraser Institute rankings, Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) president Ann Hawkins indicated that high-stakes achievement tests and the Fraser Institute rankings “greatly oversimplify the school experience” and — get this — “do little to help” the education system.

“The time, energy and resources spent on efforts like these would be much better used addressing issues like poverty and mental health,” she said in a recent statement.

I’ve been following the teachers union spin for many, many years and to Hawkins comment, I would counter: To the contrary, rankings should greatly help the education system by highlighting successful schools where either particular teaching methods or school environments, or both, are contributing to success.

Rankings, instead, do little to help hide the schools where teaching methods or a particular culture has been a failure. Health information news And we certainly do not want to label lousy teachers do we (or so goes the sentiment of their unions).

Maddie di Muccio, CEO of the Society for Quality Education, says she’s not sure why teachers unions would “feel so threatened” by the school rankings’ spotlight on success and failures.

But she can only surmise that they want to “control” the whole system and make the public believe “they don’t need help” — when her organization knows full well something is “not working.”

There’s one thing besides the constant whining of teachers’ unions for more pay and benefits that has remained constant in the more than 20 years I’ve kept an eye on Ontario’s education system.

Teachers’ unions and many of the educrats who prop up this now $25-B system loathe standardized testing.

And school rankings like the Report Card on Ontario’s Secondary Schools 2017 done by the Fraser Institute positively make their hair stand on end.

The school rankings — which once again this year compare school results over the past five years to gauge declines and improvements — are based on the scores from the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) standardized tests and other demographic information.

When standardized testing was first introduced in 1996, Ontario’s powerful teachers unions vociferously fought the idea.

Some 20 years later, they still don’t like the idea of “ranking anything,” says long-time education reformer Doretta Wilson.

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