The Fraser Institute released its annual ranking of secondary schools last week, with Kimberley’s Selkirk Secondary rating a 7.2 out of 10, 65th out of 294 high schools in the province.
To put that in context, Golden Secondary, with a similar number of Grade 12 students was 223d out of 294; Invermere was 106th and Fernie was 138th. Mount Baker in Cranbrook, with about three times as many students in Grade 12, was ranked 120th.
The Fraser Institute ranks schools on average exam marks, percentage of exams failed, gender gaps in English and math, graduation rate and more, to give the schools a ranking out of ten.
The rankings are quite controversial — opponents say that private schools always come out at the top and you simply can’t compare them to public schools. The methodology is also questioned.
Paul Carriere, superintendent of School District No. 6, says the rankings mean nothing.
“We pay no attention to the Fraser Institute ranking of schools, and we have held this view consistently over time,” he said. “We are in the business of trying to do our very best for each individual student we serve, and in that regard, a ranking of schools is unhelpful and unnecessary. We also agree with the widely held view that the methodology used in the ranking is questionable, and cannot be seen as accurately measuring the quality of a school.”