The Fraser Institute report cards are out and Merritt elementary schools once again have been given a poor grade.

The report cards the institute sends out rank 978 B.C schools for 2013 and 2014 based on 10 academic indicators from the annual Foundation Skills Assessments (FSA) administered for the B.C. Ministry of Education.

Those indicators include the school’s average score for reading, writing and numeracy at the Grade 4 and Grade 7 levels as well as percentages of tests not written and those below provincial expectations.

Merritt’s elementary schools were ranked near the bottom of the list with Merritt Central Elementary having the lowest rank of 935 out of 978.

Diamond Vale Elementary was ranked 875th of 978, Nicola-Canford Elementary ranked 854th and Merritt Bench was ranked 247th.

Bench Elementary had the best rating out of 10, scoring a seven.

The average rating is six out of 10 and Diamond Vale, Merritt Central and Nicola-Canford have had ratings below the average for the past five years, while Bench has been above.

Nicola-Canford Elementary had a rating of 4.0 last year, Diamond Vale’s rating was 3.8 and Merritt Central Elementary had a 2.9 rating out of 10.

Fraser Institute director of school performance studies Peter Cowley said it’s important to look at a school’s results over five years compared to the average.

“If you continually see that the school either outperforms or underperforms the average, then you’ve got to be wondering why is that the case,” Cowley said.

The scoring for the Grade 4 and Grade 7 tests range from 200 to 800, with the average scores in reading and numeracy being about 500 and writing being higher at about 575, Cowley said.

The average score in reading for Grade 4 FSA amongst all  B.C. schools in the report for the past five years has been about 500.

The five-year average for writing is in the 570 range and numeracy was in the 490s.

Merritt Central Elementary had averages all below the B.C. ones with scores of 428 in reading, 450 in writing and 408 in numeracy for 2014.

Merritt Bench Elementary had scores for reading and numeracy both near the provincial average at 487, while writing was slightly below the average at 522.

Diamond Vale Elementary had an average score below that of the province with 428 in reading and 427 for writing, but had an average score closer to the provincial one in numeracy at 468.

Nicola Canford’s statistics show that the average Grade 4 score for reading was below the provincial average at 448, writing was sub par as well at a score of 496, as was the numeracy average at 435.

The average score for all B.C. schools in the report for Grade 7 in reading for the past five years was 500, writing was in the 580s and numeracy was about 480.

As with Grade 4 scores, Merritt Central Elementary was below the provincial averages again last year, with Grade 7 students scoring an average of 423 in reading, 411 in writing and 410 in numeracy.

Merritt Bench Elementary Grade 7 average score was all above the provincial numbers with 550 in reading, 606 in writing and 498 in numeracy last year.

The Grade 7 average score for Diamond Vale was above and below the provincial average with an average of 471 for reading, 574 in writing and 581 in numeracy in 2014.

Nicola-Canford Elementary had average scores all below the provincial average for Grade 7 FSA’s at 430 in reading, 514 in writing and 449 in numeracy.

These scores in both Grade 4 and 7 for all four Merritt schools in the report for 2014 have been in the same ballpark range over the past five years as well.

School board chair Gordon Comeau said that while the district takes into account the FSA results, it doesn’t do the same with the Fraser Institute rankings.

“The Fraser Institute rankings are based on criteria that they set, nobody else, and really it doesn’t into account all kinds of factors that we do look at — socio-economic factors, those types of things, size of the school population,” Comeau said.