Vancouver Sun – October 28 2018 – Dr. Beth Green – It’s about time we recognized a simple fact about B.C. education. The province’s independent schools are a positive complement to public schools.
We can now confidently say that B.C.’s independent school graduates cultivate diverse social ties, are active and engaged members of their communities, are committed to the well-being of their neighbours and are ready to give of both time and resources. And, as a bonus, they generally look back on their high school days positively. It so happens they also feel more strongly than public school grads do that they’re prepared to face real life.
This more complete look at provincial school outcomes comes thanks to the newly published B.C. findings of the 2018 Cardus Education Survey. It compares B.C.’s public school graduates to grads from Catholic, Evangelical Protestant and non-religious independent schools. Controlling for things like family background and income, we’re able to isolate the effect that schools have on students. The results are telling.
The findings are clear. Independent schools are a productive and positive part of the B.C. education system, educating more than one in 10 students. Independent enrolment continues to grow, providing the province with a cost-effective means of meeting a diverse set of schooling needs. So, it’s not surprising that 61 per cent of British Columbians said in 2017 that they supported full or partial government funding for religious schools.