Ontario’s Liberal government boasted of another increase in high school graduation rates yesterday, but opposition critics warned the numbers aren’t telling the whole story.
That’s because the province is still using a five-year standard to measure graduation rates for its four-year high school program, even though Grade 13 was eliminated in 2003.
The high school graduation rate was 77 per cent last year, up from 75 per cent the year before, said Education Minister Kathleen Wynne.
When questioned about the numbers, Wynne conceded the graduation rate included students who took five years to complete the four-year program.
“There are lots of kids who want to take courses that they can’t fit into their timetables, so they come back in that fifth year to do that, and I think that’s a perfectly legitimate thing to do,” she said.
The opposition parties welcomed the improvement in the graduation rate, but questioned the validity of the numbers and the government’s methodology.