Susi’s 7-year EQAO Ratings
Susi’s Rankings are based on the results from EQAO testing in Mississauga over the last seven years. They reflect the consistency of a school’s performance. A logical formula was developed from the pass-rates from each school for the subjects Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. (“Pass-rates” are the percentage of students who are at or above government standards in their ongoing learning development curve.)
First, for each of these years, each individual school pass-rate for each grade in each subject was mathematically divided into the Peel Board Average, and a comparative value was reached.
Next, the previous seven years were weighted so that the more recent years would be more important than older years to a school’s ultimate rating. Each of the three subjects (Reading, Writing, Mathematics) would then have its own 7-year rating, and for the school’s final rating, the ratings were added together and divided by three to arrive at a composite rating.
Obviously, the higher the composite rating, the higher the ranking. Anything above 1.000 is considered to have above average pass-rates (relative to all the schools in the Peel Board), and anything below 1.000 is considered to have below-average pass-rates.
Yet, while this is an important gauge on a school’s performance, it certainly isn’t the only factor parents should consider when looking for Mississauga School Rankings. Because of socio-economic factors and demographics, I feel that some schools appear to be much EASIER to teach at than others – that is, those “easier” schools would be much more likely, in my opinion, to corral higher EQAO pass-rates. To me, this might be unfair and unjust, which is why I established the Teacher Difficulty Index to attempt to “level the playing field”.
The Teacher Difficulty Index
There is absolutely no reason for coming up with a Teacher Difficulty Index (TDI) beside this one: All things being equal, if a school is the EASIEST to teach at, then that school should have the highest pass-rates. Conversely, if a school is the HARDEST to teach at, then that school should have the lowest pass-rates. The team at SusiHomes.com feel that deviations from these assumptions may provide an authoritative glimpse into a school administration’s actual performance relative to other schools in the Board. That is, those schools that are performing above socio-economic expectations can be (rightly or wrongly) assumed to employ exemplary teachers and administrators, while those performing below expectations should be concerned. A controversial assumption? Perhaps. But it is the opinion of this website that it is still clearly relevant to parents who need to quantify performance for comparison.
The TDI is calculated from an involved formula that considers three sources that can effect a teacher’s ability to easily teach: home situation, parental education and student language barriers. The validity of these sources came through casual discussions with professional educators during 2008 and 2009, and are also indicated through several Canadian journal articles. The home situation takes into account the median household income in a school district, and also the percentage of single parents in a school district. Generally (yet not as a rule), higher income households produce students that are easier to teach, and single parents often have a much more difficult time staying atop their child’s progress in school. Teachers can teach, but they need help from either their student, their student’s parents, or both.
Parental education is also a mitigating factor in a teacher’s easiness of teaching… it is true that those parents who have a university education have a far greater interest in making sure their children do well in school, while those parents with a high school education (or having no high school diploma at all) generally will have less of an interest in this. And of course student language barriers in the classroom, i.e. the amount of ESL students and recent immigrants, are also a factor for teachers. The numbers pulled for the TDI come from EQAO, The 2011 Census, and Environic Analytics (a reputable data/demographics company).
Although the above sources of difficulty have been agreed upon by both professional educators and academic studies, they are of course simply generalizations. For instance, there are many single parents who do better jobs with their children than double parents, just as there are children from high-income families that are petulant and disrespectful and can make a teacher’s life miserable at times. Yet we at SusiHomes.com believe that generally, the above sources of difficulty are valid. All of the above data is simply cut and pasted from EQAO reports and custom-built, school-district-specific demographics that were purchased from a large and reputable demographics firm, Environics Analytics.
All the above factors can be argued to affecting a child’s performance in the classroom, and thus the ability of the teacher to effectively teach. (Class-size and maternity-leaves can also be affecting factors, but have been left out because of high ambiguity and incomplete data. French Immersion schools are said to generally attract a more well-prepared student, but also are not considered for the TDI.) The most recent years of demographic data were naturally given more weight in the final computations for Susi’s Mississauga School Rankings.
The higher the TDI number a school possesses, the harder it is to teach there. The hardest school (Dunrankin Drive) has a TDI of 216. The easiest school (Kenollie) has a TDI of 6.
The Potency Rankings
noun – capacity to be, become, or develop; potentiality.
Once a school’s TDI is established, we can compare a school’s “anticipated” results with its actual results. For example, if “School A” had the 10th-best EQAO scores over the last seven years, and they are considered to be the 4th-easiest school to teach at, it can be said that this school is performing slightly BELOW expectations. Conversely, if “School B” had the 42nd-best EQAO scores over the last seven years, but they are considered the 71st-easiest school (8th-hardest) to teach at, it can be said that this school is performing well ABOVE expectations.
And those schools that are performing above expectations have inherent capacity for growth and development; that is, they have undeniable potential to perform much better in the EQAO tests and likely could if their socio-economic demographics were more favourable.
Thus a school that is performing above expectations is said to have a high potency. This is crucial information to a disciplined parent because it is our opinion that any school with high potency WILL teach their child to their full potential, as long as they receive the usual and proper support at home. And here is how we quantify that potency (using Mississauga Public schools as an example):
When comparing an individual school’s EQAO pass-rates to the Board Average, we come up with a figure relative to 1.000 (the Board Average). The highest number a school received in the Peel Board is 1.376 (Kenollie). The lowest number a school received in the Peel Board is 0.725 (school name withheld). These are figures that are relative to the norm.
When comparing the ranking of EQAO pass-rates to the ranking of Easiest Schools To Teach At (using the TDI) we come up with an Expected Ranking Differential. In the previous example, “School A” would have an Expected Ranking Differential of -6, while “School B” would fare better with an Expected Ranking Differential of +29. These too, then, are figures that are relative to the norm.
As it turns out, both of these figures are relative to the same norm (an average school), and thus we can create a parallel from the top-ranked EQAO school (Kenollie) to the top-ranked Expected Ranking Differential school (Thornwood). We can use the top-ranked EQAO school number as a multiplier to the actual EQAO number of the top-ranked Expected Ranking Differential school. And going on down the list, we can use the 10th-ranked EQAO school (Credit Valley) number as a multiplier to the actual EQAO number of the 10th-ranked Expected Ranking Differential school (Burnhamthorpe), and so on! This resulting number, then, represents a school’s POTENCY.
The Potency Rankings, then, reflects what a school’s performance may be if their potential would to be realized through an equalization of socio-economic conditions across the city.
The Potency Rankings was then coupled with the 7-Year EQAO Ranking to arrive at a final ranking, called the Susi Ranking (“Overall Rank”).
Please note that the only function the SUSI Rankings serve is simply as another tool Susi has at her disposal to help families find real estate in neighbourhoods they think they’d like to live in. And there are many other factors in choosing a school district beside the SUSI-Rank of the school itself. In fact, there are many other factors in choosing a school than the SUSI-Rank itself! They are published on this website as a strong opinion of Susi Kostyniuk.
NB: Fraser Institute Rankings will not be included any longer, for two reasons: They come out much later than the Susi Rankings (Susi Rankings in October; Fraser Rankings in January); and they only include one-third of public elementary schools in Mississauga. (However, they still remain relevant for Catholic schools in Mississauga, and many other cities, too, but not for PUBLIC elementary schools in Mississauga.)