Predictably, the Fraser Institute is not happy that the Albertan government is moving to abolish elementary school provincial achievement tests (PATs), which it uses as fodder for its dubious and worthless “Report Cards” — studies which are almost invariably used to cast doubt on public schools, promote “independent” private schools, and downplay the obvious fact that the most important factors in student success in our schools are the stability and socioeconomic status of their family. Last year, in its infinite wisdom, the Institute proclaimed Bountiful’s school one of the best in the province. It was a rare meeting of the free-market libertarians and the ultra-conservative polygamists, which impressed nobody.
Of course, this decision by the Albertan government will save a great deal of time for students and teachers, and eliminate a serious ethical problem (should students be subjected to what amounts to an extended social research exercise, without compensation and without consent?). But it will also deprive the Fraser Institute of its precious data, and so they’re throwing a temper tantrum.
It’s interesting, I think, that an institute supposedly so dedicated to free market principles gets into such a snit when a government threatens to withhold its supply of “free” data paid for out of the public purse. I’m sure if the Institute offered to compensate the government for collecting their data, something could be arranged.Tweet