GRAD RATES: Pilot project tracks graduation rates

A pilot project to better track student graduation rates appears to be more accurately reflecting the reality in school districts.

Scott Sutherland, a spokesman for the provincial Ministry of Education, said in the five districts using the new system — which removes from the total student cohort those who will never receive a Dogwood certificate — indicates the actual figures are about five per cent higher than when the analysis is done using the system that has been in place for years.

Every student who takes a course at a public school receives an identifying number. Those numbers have traditionally been used to define the size of the student population and, from that, completion percentages were determined.

However, Sutherland said, there are often times when students are in a school system for a short period of time. This could include exchange and international students, others who move out of the district, those who die and those with disabilities who are not expected to receive a Dogwood certificate.

Districts involved in the pilot project include Kamloops-Thompson, Victoria, Rocky Mountain, Boundary and Comox.

The project was launched in a “concerted effort to get everyone more accurate and useful data,” Sutherland said. “If it proves itself, it will be adopted” by the ministry.


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