Publicly-Reported Indicators of School System Success: A Comparative Study of Three Canadian Provinces

D. Cameron Hauseman


This comparative study paper seeks to investigate the nature of reported measures of school success currently reported in Ontario with two other Canadian jurisdictions with similar school systems and student populations (Alberta and British Columbia). As education in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia is, for the most part, a government enterprise, much of the debate concerning the success of the school system is carried out in the court of public opinion. Following a short discussion of both the history and governance of education in each of these jurisdictions, current demographic trends that may influence public information needs will be discussed in detail. The measures currently reported by the Ontario government (graduation rates, and literacy and numeracy scores) will be compared with those employed by the other jurisdictions studied, as well as data historically reported in past Ministry of Education annual reports to determine which offers their populace a complete picture of the state of the school system. Data was gathered using a document analysis and a review of the reported measures as displayed on the ministry/department of education website for each jurisdiction studied. Both the utility of standardized testing as a policy tool and the contentious nature of these measures will be discussed in detail, including the problematic social justice and data manipulation issues clouding their use in Ontario and other jurisdictions in Canada and abroad.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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