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Norwood Park top Mountain elementary school: report

Cecil B. Stirling near bottom

Norwood Park is the best elementary school on the Mountain, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual rankings. The French immersion school on the central Mountain improved seven-tenths of a point to 8.7 out of a possible 10 in the institute’s latest report on Ontario’s elementary schools.
The score puts it in a tie for 124th place in Ontario, with the 14th best score overall. Norwood Park’s score has been rising each year since 2008, when it received a 7.5 score.
Mountview on the west Mountain scored 8.6, also up seven-tenths of a point from last year.
St Martin of Tours in Stoney Creek was the highest ranked school in Hamilton. It earned a 9.5 rating.
The top Catholic elementary school on the Mountain was Annunciation of Our Lord. The school opened last year to replace  St. Jerome and Catherine of Sienna.
The average of all schools is a 6.0.
St. Teresa of Avila, located on the west Mountain, was named in the report as one of the fastest-improving schools in the province. It scored 7.1 in the latest report; in 2008 it scored 2.8.
“Our report shows that all schools are capable of improvement, regardless of the personal or family challenges their students might face,” said Peter Cowley, Fraser Institute director of school performance studies. “If educators want to help students learn and improve, they should be talking to these schools.”
The Fraser Institute comes up with its rankings based on nine indicators found in standardized test (EQAO) scores. The report covers 2,714 public, Catholic, and francophone elementary schools in Ontario.
The Hamilton school with the lowest score was Cecil B. Stirling, located on the east Mountain. It scored 1.1, down from 2.0 in the last report. Only 24 schools in the province had lower scores.
A Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board spokesperson said administration does not put a lot of stock in the institute’s annual report.
“Rankings tell us nothing about why scores are high or low. Focusing on rankings tends to distract people from work that improves learning for all students,” said Jackie Penman.
“EQAO test results provide useful information to improve schools’ learning programs—for example, school improvement goals on reading, writing or math—but it’s unfair and misleading to compare schools based only on these scores. It’s just one piece of the whole picture about a school.”

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