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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fraser Institute think tanks new report card on BC high schools has a familiar ring to it when it comes private versus public schools.

The 2016 report card ranks 294 institutions across the province according to seven academic metrics, and author Peter Cowley also says there’s a simple reason why independent schools, year-after-year, rise to the top of the list.

Mr. Cowley adds while twenty-six of the top thirty schools last year were independent — it’s not a question of money.

The report card finds 28 schools dropped in the rankings but 21 others, including 17 public schools, climbed, a group which included North Peace Secondary.

Although its’ overall rating out of ten was still only 3.3, that was an improvement over the previous year’s report card when it was 2.9, while South Peace Secondary slipped slightly from 3.6 to 3.5.

However that left it ranked 273 out of the aforementioned 294 school total, and still trending upward, while NPSS ranked 277, and posted no noticeable trend.

Mr. Cowley says watching those trends is key, because it allows institutions to see what’s working elsewhere, but once again the report card is taking plenty of heat from the B-C Teachers Federation, which claims it tells a misleading story.

President Glen Hansman says he’s not surprised to see private schools at the top of the list again, because the schools aren’t on a level playing field.

He also argues the rankings do reflect that money is at the centre of the equation.

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