Rating life-time learning.

2010 | Composite Learning Index | CLI.

The results from this organization got a big play in the news. Easy to find out how your city rates if you live in one of the bigger centres, not so easy if you live in a small town as I do. What I found when I got to the full document was that I live in an average sort of place. Although the article suggests a bald figure, below which your community is a loser, the actual document refers to a range and our town fell within in on all measures except access to broadband. Our “city” is one of those government creations formed from the amalgamation of villages, rural areas and small towns. Our access to broadband varies tremendously across the area, in spite of  a city objective to provide the opportunity to all citizens. As well we are a poor area, little manufacturing, with government services and health care the big employers. Not so easy to be online if you are living on welfare.

I was surprised that the area fell within the average range on so many indicators, especially the education indicators. On the other hand, looking at a city like Saskatoon, which scored very well on the average, but poor scores in the areas of youth education, I am concerned about the weighting of the different aspects of the index. It sounds as thought Saskatoon is a great place to live if you are an adult, but not so great if you are a child in school. It wasn’t clear to me if the “time to travel to a museum” had an equivalent weight to ” youth problem-solving skills”.

Finally, the average is a score that is very dependent on the highs and lows. Wouldn’t the median be a better measure?