Frequently asked questions

1. Q: Why are some schools not in the report card?
A: Not all schools can be rated and ranked. Here are the minimum requirements necessary for a school to be included in the ranking:
a) There must be at least 10 students enrolled at the school in Secondary V.
b) We must receive ministry of education test results related to at least 10 students in each of the five subject areas.
c) We must receive sufficient ministry of education data in order to calculate the Échec, Surestimation par l’école, and Progression – Taux de retard indicators.
2. Q: Where can I get results for schools not in the report card?
A: The Ministry of Education, Higher Education, and Research provides provincewide test results for schools that are not in the report card.
3. Q: Should I choose a school based on these results alone?
A: No. The rankings reflect how the school is doing academically compared to the others in the report card. But there are lots of other aspects of a school and its programs that you may wish to consider. You can get a better idea about what the school will offer your child by visiting the school’s web site and by talking to the principal, teachers, and other parents.
4. Q: Does the report card take into account the fact that some schools try to improve their ratings by encouraging lower performing kids not to take the exams?
A: Wherever possible we design the report card to discourage exclusion of any students from the assessments.
5. Q: Why does the website show five years of results for most schools?
A: The report cards provide five years of results for each of the indicators of school performance and for the overall rating out of 10. This provides a more useful picture of how the school has performed and how it might perform in the future. In addition, the Trend indicator shows whether the school’s results are improving, declining, or just staying steady.
6. Q: What is the overall rating based on?
A: In Quebec, the secondary school ratings are based on provincewide ministerial examinations administered in Secondary IV and Secondary V as well as grade-to-grade transition rates.
7. Q: Should I consider an Overall Rating below 6 out of ten a failure?
A: No. The rating is designed to have an average value of 6. The school’s rating does not reflect a pass or fail. It simply reflects how far above or below the average of all the rated schools it is performing.
8. Q: Do you report results in the same way that provincial ministry of education does?
A: Each school’s results are based on data provided to us by Quebec’s Ministry of Education, Higher Education, and Research. However, we may display some of the results in different ways than does the ministry. We do this to make the results as useful as possible to parents and educators.
9. Q: In the report cards why is there an “n/a” reported for some results?
A: Where insufficient data are available for the calculation of an indicator, overall rating, or trend measure, an “n/a” appears in the tables.
10. Q: What does it mean that the report card's results are relative?
A: This means that each school is rated relative to every other school in the report card. So, an overall rating of 10 out of ten doesn’t mean the school’s performance was perfect. It simply means that it performed better than any other school in the report card.
11. Q: Why don’t the report cards include indicators of school performance in areas like trades training, physical education, the fine arts, and development of good citizenship skills?
A: Unfortunately, the school system in Quebec only produces measures of school-by-school academic performance. If results in other areas were available, we would include them in our report card.
12. Q: Is it true that for small schools just a couple of poor exam results can negatively affect the school's overall rating?
A: Yes. In a given year, ratings for smaller schools can be significantly affected either for better or worse by the results of a small number of students. That’s why — particularly when considering the performance of smaller schools — you should consider all the historical results so that you have a better picture of how the school has performed over time.
13. Q: When are the report cards published each year?
A: The report cards are updated as soon as possible after new data become available. We are unable to provide exact publishing dates but, Quebec updates usually occur in October or early November.
14. Q: Does the Fraser Institute prepare and/or administer the exams the report cards are based on?
A: No. The Fraser Institute does not prepare or administer exams of any kind. We use the results of ministry of education tests to produce our indicators, ratings, and rankings.

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