Alberta has the best schools in Canada and Alberta students rank among the best in the world, writes The Economist.
The curriculum has been revised, stressing core subjects (English, science, mathematics), school facilities and the training of teachers have been improved, clear achievement goals have been set and a rigorous province-wide testing programme for grades three (aged 7-8), six (10-11), nine (13-14) and twelve (16-17) has been established to ensure they are met.
. . . This is especially true in the province’s capital of Edmonton, which is noted for its innovative system stressing choice, accountability and competition. Funding there is based on the number of students in a school. Each school controls its own budget, spending money on its own educational priorities (such as improving aboriginal-student results), while following the provincial curriculum. Students are free to (and 57% do) attend any school in the city, not just in their own neighbourhood. They can seek out schools specialising in the arts, sports, leadership skills, girls-only education, aboriginal culture, Mandarin, and many other alternative programmes—or simply choose the schools with the best academic results. Students in every grade are tested annually and their scores published.
The rich send their children to public schools.
Via Education Gadfly, which is a fan of Edmonton’s “weighted” funding.