Only 74.8% of Alberta high school students complete high school within three years. However, there are other numbers behind that story.
While 77.4% of girls graduate, only 72.3% of boys graduate.
Only 59.6% of English Language Learners graduate.
Only 43.9% of FNMI students graduate.
While 65.7% of students with a learning disability graduate, only 37.3% of students with an emotional/behavioural disability graduate.
While the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) has not provided such a detailed breakdown, we know that the high school completion rate of CBE students is about 1% lower than the provincial average.
The Calgary United Way has recognized the importance that high school graduation has on the future of our city and has estimated that the annual cost to society per high school dropout is $15,850. They have launched a campaign to reduce the drop out rate by 50% over the next five years.
In Ontario, they have succeeded in increasing the high school graduation rate by 15 percentage points over the past ten years, and are well on their way to reaching their goal of an 85% graduation rate.
In order to improve the chances of success for our students, the CBE needs to be working closely with outside organizations that wish to provide additional supports for high school students. The CBE also needs to be continually looking towards other jurisdictions who are achieving success in improving graduation rates to determine whether similar strategies could work here. A bright future depends on a well-educated society, and we must work together to ensure that everything possible is done to prepare students to succeed in life.
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