In general, schools in rich districts do better than schools in poor districts; Catholic schools do better than public. The EQAO scores simply repeat what everyone knows. The idea behind the scoring system mentioned in the article is to adjust each school's score by socioeconomic level - as measured by income tax returns for the postal codes covered in each school's catchment area - and also by whether the school is public or Catholic.
The claim is that the adjusted score - think seasonally adjusted unemployment - gives a better indicator of how good a school REALLY is - when everything about its makeup that is conducive to success has been eliminated.
It's not actually true that inner city Toronto schools do better - it's just that their performance is, apparently, less abysmal than their status would predict. But objectively, that nice Catholic school in the suburbs with the affluent, educated and involved parents, is going to score better on the EQAO's.
So there is no need for all the commentary about Asians and immigrants and so on, because the analysis is not looking at what the schools are really achieving.
I have a lot of reservations about the scoring system used. It assumes that the effect on EQAO score of wealth and religion is linear - and I see no reason to suppose that it would be. There may be systematic factors of importance, like rurality and ethnicity, that have been omitted from the model.
All in all, I think this analysis is a very misleading way of presenting the information from the EQAO's - but it is natural, given that the EQAO is in part intended to rate schools - that some method should have been chosen to confuse the situation, so that the true ranking of schools is obscured.
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