New sidewalks on Cardell and Fairglen planned

I was driving near CR Marchant earlier this week when school was out—and though I’ve lived here almost 15 years, I was really surprised: there are no sidewalks on Rosemount where it meets Ralph. Kids were walking on the grass and on the street, and it seemed mighty unwise.

I’m not the only one to have noticed, I’m pleased to say. In fact, City Council will be considering a motion this week to “request the General Manager, Transportation Services to continue with the planned delivery of sidewalks” on Ralph and on Cardell Avenue (and Fairglen Crescent).

CR Marchant in ‘Critical’ condition

As your kids head back to school next week, pity the caretakers and builders who have been working through the summer. The province released numbers about the state of repair of all of Ontario schools. It’s not great. CR Marchant is in critical condition–in worse condition than 95% of all the schools in the province.

There are 4,656 public schools in Ontario. In order of worst condition to best, Weston’s schools are ranked:

The TDSB is at pains to say that the schools are perfectly safe. Schools need repairs, but no students are in danger.

Parents and citizens can see the shortcomings on each school’s website. CR needs repairs to its HVAC, roadways, and play areas among others. Despite being in better condition, Weston Memorial has many “urgent” needs, including water distribution, the roof, floors and doors.

Weston schools do poorly in rankings

Weston schools have generally fared poorly in the latest evaluations of student achievement. Only two schools excelled: HJ Alexander and Weston Memorial. This week, in the first of several posts, I’ll have a look at CR Marchant’s EQAO results.

CR Marchant

Marchant is Weston’s middle school, located near Lawrence and Ralph. Marchant’s grade 6 students are performing worse than their peers in reading, writing, and math.

Over the past five years, while schools province-wide have been improving standardized test scores in reading and writing, CR Marchant has struggled. 74% of the all grade 6 students meet the provincial standard in reading. Only 55% of CR Marchant students do. This year is an improvement over last year, however. In 2010, less than half of Marchant students met the provincial reading standard.

Marchant is also having trouble getting its students to write well. While 72% of all grade 6 students meet the provincial standard, only 62% of Marchant students do.

The situation is even worse for mathematics. 46% of Marchant students—less than half—meet the standard, while 58% of all students do.

The problem is not because we live in Toronto. Schools in Toronto do reasonably well—almost exactly as well as the province as a whole does. Marchant is performing poorly for some other reason, and it’s not a fluke. The students at Marchant have performed worse than the city and province on every test, in every year that the EQAO has been administered.

Marchant students are not doing badly because they come from abroad: fewer students, in fact, were born outside Canada than in the city as a whole. Nor are they underperforming because they don’t speak English at home.


CR Marchant grade 6 EQAO results for this year

CR Marchant Grade 6 scores over time, compared to city and province