Canadians and Americans are used to including school ranking and standing into their consideration when choosing a place to live. In fact, areas with outstanding schools command higher real estate prices, and it’s one of top – if not the top – factors that influences such demand.
It’s important to note that there are countries that choose to discourage or completely eliminate this approach by not sharing school performance data and following a stated equality in funding and enrollment practices. For example, in Finland the government doesn’t mandate any standardized tests (with the exception of the high school completion test), and doesn’t publish any ranking or performance information. Despite that, student achievement level in Finland overall is considered to be one of the highest in the world.
Returning to Canada, if you live in Ontario, you’re no doubt familiar with EQAO – the set of student assessments governed by The Education Quality and Accountability Office. All students in grades 3, 6, 9, and 10 complete standardized EQAO tests, and the resulting information is compiled and shared for each school, school board, as well as the provincial totals. Students in Grades 3 and 6 are assessed for achievements in reading, writing, and mathematics. Students in Grade 9 assessed for achievements in mathematics, and Grade 10s complete the literacy assessment that is also referred to as OSSLT (Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test).
In addition to EQAO, independent organizations, such as The Fraser Institute, compile and present their own rankings based on the publicly available EQAO test results combined with other factors, for example, parents’ income and gender gap in students’ results.
On top of that, analytical web sites, such as Hausworth.com, add more dimensions: school facilities quality, overall neighbourhood quality, and – in our “new normal” – number of COVID cases reported at each school. For example, school facilities quality ranges from 0 to 100%, with the newer and better maintained buildings and other school facilities (such as sports fields) rating on the higher end of the range – the closer they are to 100% the better. Lower numbers reflect a higher number of problems within the school building and a need for repairs and improvement.
Here are some examples of the neighbourhoods in Toronto where the state of school facilities is the best:
|Avg School Condition (%)||Neighbourhood Name||Population||Students Enrolled||Avg School Rating|
|71.7||Mount Pleasant East||17972||1370||80%|
|68.0||Forest Hill South||12450||1715||85%|
|65.0||Cabbagetown-South St.James Town||12655||350||43%|
Also, here are the neighbourhoods with the lowest numbers of COVID cases at schools so far this school year:
|Neighbourhood Name||COVID Cases in Schools||Population||Students|
|Lambton Baby Point||0||8433||4200|
|Forest Hill North||0||13588||2960|
|Agincourt South-Malvern West||0||27406||2775|
As you are assessing your current or perspective local school, some or all of the above considerations might help you make an informed decision. We listed some of the resources available from EQAO and your local school board. You might also find helpful comparison tools that display school ranking data for public schools assigned to a particular building in the city, as well as many other neighbourhood attributes, including safety statistics.