TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - Is it something in the water? Why are Edmonton schools better than Calgary schools?
We are asking this question because we have just released a research study, A Tale of Two Cities: Learning from Provincial Achievement Test Results in Calgary and Edmonton by Dr. David Johnson, professor of economics at Wilfrid Laurier University. Dr. Johnson found that, after adjusting for the students' backgrounds, Edmonton students score much higher than Calgary students on the provincial tests on many assessments over many years. What's more, the achievement gap increases from Grade 3 to Grade 9.
But of course the water is the same in Edmonton and Calgary. However, the public school systems have a very different history in the two cities. For many years, Edmonton public schools have competed with one another for students. For many years, Edmonton public schools have been granted considerable leeway in deciding how they can best operate. As a result, Edmonton public schools have been willing to open specialized and charter-style programs as requested by parents.
These choices offered by Edmonton schools and the associated competition among schools have had some unexpected side effects. Not only do Edmonton students learn more, but also Edmonton parents are more satisfied with their children's schools. Results in Edmonton are better at all types of schools, not just public schools. And – bonus – there is more diversity in Edmonton public schools!
This is the first study to directly compare outcomes at schools in Calgary and Edmonton.
The full report can be found here http://societyforqualityeducation.org/reports/taleoftwocities.pdf
The Society for Quality Education is dedicated to the significant improvement of student learning in Canada. Find out more about us at: SocietyForQualityEducation.org
Image with caption: "Society for Quality Education (CNW Group/Society for Quality Education)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141118_C8414_PHOTO_EN_8220.jpg
SOURCE: Society for Quality Education
For further information: Contacts for this Media Release: Dr. David Johnson, Professor of Economics, 519-578-4758; DORETTA WILSON, Executive Director, Phone: 416-231-7247 (office), 416-526-1653 (cell)