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

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

How to decide what to vote for in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots are due at Elections BC on Friday, Dec. 7, at 4:30 p.m.

COLUMN: The People’s Party of Canada arrives in the Kootenays

‘The Conservative Party of Canada walked away from us,’ says organizer of Kootenay-Columbia and South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding associations

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

B.C.’s skyrocketing real estate market will ‘correct’ in 2019: analyst

Housing prices in Vancouver are set to rise just 0.6 per cent

Climate change, receding glaciers increase landslide risk on B.C.’s Mount Meager

Climate change is causing glaciers atop Mount Meager, in British Columbia, to shrink increasing the chances of landslides and even a new eruption, says one expert.

UK’s May lobbies EU leaders in fight to save Brexit deal

Top European Union officials ruled out Tuesday any renegotiation of the divorce agreement with Britain.

Former Canadian diplomat detained in China amid rising tensions: reports

A former Canadian diplomat has been arrested in China, according to media reports and the international think tank he works for.

In depth: Simple falls causing serious injuries to people over 65

Kelowna’s high population of seniors puts it in the spotlight for how it deals with seniors’ issues

Time magazine’s 2018 person of the year

The group is made up of four journalists and are the “guardians and the war on truth”

Trump to meet with Democrats about border wall, shutdown

US president wants $5 billion for border wall, while Democrats offer up about $1.3 billion for fencing and other security measures

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Most Read