If you’re a Toronto home buyer with children (or are planning to have kids), the quality of the school in your target neighbourhood will be an important factor in deciding where you want to call home. But how do you know which neighbourhoods have the best schools?
Once again this year, the Fraser Institute has released the results of their Top Schools rankings (elementary schools) based on academic results. While the school Report Cards are controversial (see last year’s blog Toronto’s Top Schools: A Teacher Weighs In) and there are many other factors to consider when deciding what a ‘Top School’ is, the rankings do provide a starting point to help parents choose a school for their children (and of course, a neighbourhood to live in).
One of the best pieces of information that the School Report Card provides us with is the ability to compare a school over time and see how it’s improving (or not). Neighbourhoods change and those changes are often reflected in the schools.
The Report Card is based on 9 criteria (and ranks schools on a scale of 1 to 10).
- Average achievement on grade 3 EQAO reading, writing and math assessments
- Average achievement on grade 6 EQAO reading, writing and math assessments
- The difference between male and female achievements on EQAO grade 6 reading and math assessments
- The percentage of EQAO assessments that did NOT meet the provincial standard.
In addition, the Top Schools Report looks at:
- The % of Tests Not Written (with the assumption being that the higher the participation, the more accurate the results
- The Trend Indicator (how the school’s results have improved over the last 5 years)
- The Socio-economic Factor (looks at parental income and identifies “schools that are successful despite adverse conditions faced by the students,” and conversely, schools “where students with a relatively positive environment at home appear not to be reaching their presumed potential”.)
- The Students Characteristics Factor (number of students enrolled in ESL programs and special needs)
Here’s a quick snapshot of how Toronto schools fared in the Fraser Institute Report Card by neighbourhood:
Green indicates a score of between 7.5 – 10
Yellow indicates a score of 5 – 7.4
Orange indicates a score of 2.5 – 4.9
Red indicates a score of 0 – 2.4
Map of Toronto’s Best Schools – West (2013)
(Roncesvalles, Junction/Junction Triangle, Bloordale, Dufferin Grove, Little Italy, West Queen West, Queen West)
Map of Toronto’s Best Schools – East (2013)
(Cabbagetown, Distillery District, Leslieville/Riverside, Upper Beaches, East York, the Beaches)