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High marks for B.C. education outcomes

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Top marks for B.C.'s school system. (FOTOLIA)

Top marks for B.C.'s school system. (FOTOLIA)

British Columbia’s education outcomes received an A+ for the proportion of high school graduates — ranking first among all provinces and 16 comparison countries, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

Overall, according to study senior research associate Sheila Rao, the province’s Kindergarten-to-Grade 12 system received an A.

The province’s education outcomes as a whole — covering grade school, post-secondary and adult skills training — topped all other provinces in Canada, and ranked behind only Japan and Finland.

B.C.’s impressive number for high school diploma attainment was 91.4% among adults. Canada as a whole does well — the lowest number was New Brunswick at 85.1%

“Out of the nine indicators we looked at (B.C. had) only two Bs and the rest were A or A+ — I would say B.C. is an A performer,” Rao said.

The data for K-12 was ranked using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme of International Student Assessment test — which assesses reading, math and science skills, Rao added.

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation — which has been calling for additional per-student funding — did not comment by presstime.

B.C. Minister of Education Peter Fassbender said in a statement the outcomes are partially the result of teachers’ hard work, but re-iterated any new deal with the union must be affordable.

“It’s not surprising that during the current labour dispute we hear more about what’s wrong with the system than what’s right,” he said.

“This report is just more proof we’re on the right path.”


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