Report card not good for two elementary schools

  • May. 2, 2008 8:00 p.m.

Two of the islands’ elementary schools appear near the bottom of the Fraser Institute’s yearly report card. Tahayghen in Masset and Sk’aadgaa Naay in Skidegate ranked 973 and 951 out of 981 schools respectively based on results from last year’s Foundation Skills Assessment tests, which check how well Grade 4 and 7 students are doing in reading, writing and math. Sk’aadgaa Naay’s overall score was 2.7, down from 5.7 last year and Tahayghen dropped from 3.4 in 2006 to 1.2. The average score for all school’s in BC was 6.2. According to the report, 38.2 percent of Sk’aadgaa Naay test results were below Ministry of Education expectations and 49.5 per cent of Tahayghen test results fell in that category. Peter Cowley, director of school performance at the Fraser Institute and author of the report, noted that Sk’aadgaa Naay has performed quite well in other years, but seems to have trouble consistently performing. He says schools that find themselves in this situation may wish to look back at what they were doing in the years with higher rankings and try to emulate that again. He said that Tahayghen has been on a consistent downward trend in the ratings. “It’s not just random at Masset,” he says. The question for educators, he says is “what can we do to erase this deficit and move back up.” The other elementary schools on the islands, in Port Clements, Old Massett and Sandspit, were not ranked because they did not have 15 or more students in either Gr. 4 or Gr. 7 or both.