Ontario surpasses 85 per pent goal of students graduating

Ontario’s high school graduation rate has increased to 85.5 per cent — the highest level in the province’s history, with more students than ever graduating with the skills and knowledge they need to reach their full potential.

This milestone was announced by Premier Kathleen Wynne at York Mills Collegiate Institute in Toronto on Tuesday with Liz Sandals, Minister of Education. In 2015, the five-year graduation rate surpassed the government’s goal of 85 per cent for the first time. The 2015 rate has increased more than 17 percentage points since 2004, when the graduation rate was just 68 per cent.

For the second year in a row, Ontario is publishing school board level graduation rates from across the province. This gives parents, students, teachers and school boards access to data that can help inform efforts to improve student achievement.

The government has introduced a number of innovative programs through its Student Success Strategy that are credited with helping to sharply boost the graduation rate since 2004. These include Specialist High Skills Majors, dual credits and expanded cooperative education.

An Ontario government release said that helping more students succeed is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement. – CINEWS

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