Gold Trail Board of Education Chair Carmen Ranta is no fan of the Fraser Institute.
Ranta bluntly dismisses the instituteís Report Card ranking BCís secondary schools as an insult to rural schools. She doesnít read the Report Card and says that even if Gold Trail schools were atop the overall rankings, she still wouldnít give credence to the document.
Some may think thatís a defensive reaction, given that Gold Trail schools often rank near the bottom of the Fraser Instituteís rankings. This year, Lillooet Secondary was ranked as the fourth worst school in the province.
We, however, agree with Ranta. We think sheís correct when she says people who shake their heads disapprovingly over LSSís ranking have likely not set foot in the school in years.
While it may be valid to compare academic outcomes for schools in the same neighbourhood with the same demographics in the same city, we think itís absurd to compare private schools in Vancouver or public schools on Vancouverís affluent west side with schools in Lillooet or New Aiyansh. Thatís beyond comparing apples and oranges.
The Vancouver schools have access to the best resources and the pick of students (in the case of the private schools). We donít expect their students need breakfast or lunch programs because they come to school hungry. We also doubt that York House has any students ďat risk.Ē Yet that is the reality and the challenge of education in Gold Trail.
At the most recent school board meeting in Lillooet, LSS vice-principal Tammy Mountain and teacher Kathleen Gunn gave a presentation on the Foundations program for LSSís most vulnerable students. They were passionate about the program and about making a difference in their studentsí lives. Their genuine affection for their students was also evident.
Their presentation was so emotionally compelling that both educators cried and school trustees were also reaching for the Kleenex boxes.
It was a moment that showed the teaching profession at its best. That level of dedication and caring can never be measured by the Fraser Instituteís arbitrary ratings system.