On average of B.C.’s 60 school districts, 80 per cent of students are completing high school. (Black Press files)

B.C. high school completion rate continues to rise

Big improvement in graduation over 10 years despite teacher turmoil

New data from the B.C. education ministry show the average high school completion rate continued its slow improvement last year, with 84 per cent of students getting their diplomas within six years.

The average completion rate has climbed by more than five per cent in the past 10 years, despite the teacher strikes and political turmoil that have disrupted B.C.’s public education system during that time.

Students designated as having special needs have also closed the gap in high school completion, up 2.4 per cent to 69.4 per cent in 2016-17 compared to the previous year. Over the past 10 years, special needs completion rates have improved more than 25 per cent.

The completion rate for indigenous students showed a similar improvement, up 2.1 per cent in 2016-17 compared to the previous school year. Indigenous high school completion is up to 65.9 per cent, an increase of 19 per cent in the past 10 years.

While there has been a steady stream of labour disputes, legal action and claims of under-funding in the B.C. school system during the decade, and a scramble to hire thousands of teachers after a decision by the Supreme Court of Canada on teacher bargaining last year, student achievement has led the country and the world.

RELATED: B.C. schools brace for more students, teachers

According to the ministry’s website, B.C. student achievement is the highest of all Canadian provinces, with only Finland and Japan finishing ahead of B.C. in international rankings.

In a 2014 report on education performance by the Conference Board of Canada, B.C. students had the highest average reading literacy rate in Canada, and were recognized as one of the top seven jurisdictions in the world.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

The tradition carries on

Locals Coffee House, Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Studio Stage Door

Third Winter Ale Concert Series kicks off Jan. 31

It’s almost time for the latest edition of a significant cultural event on our winter calendar.

BC Liberal leadership candidate stops in Cranbrook

Andrew Wilkinson drums up local support as race enters final weeks.

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Food industry failing at voluntary sodium reduction: Health Canada

Health Canada report shows the food industry made no meaningful progress in curtailing salt levels

Women’s Centre hosts yogathon fundraiser

Paul Rodgers The Cranbrook Women’s Resource Centre will be hosting a unique… Continue reading

Kootenay Farm to Folk reflects on first months of business

The future shines bright for local business

Letters to the Editor: Jan. 16

Hands-Up Hughie — setting the record straight on car explosion; and more

East Kootenay snowpack normal for January

The provincial government’s River Forecast Centre has issued its first snow survey… Continue reading

Best B.C. cities to live in: millennial edition

Other local municipalities score at bottom of list from real estate blog

Most Read