King Report: The Double Cohort Study, Phase Four
Since the introduction of the new high school curriculum in 1999, evidence has shown that students in applied programs have been struggling to obtain the necessary credits to graduate. The fourth and final phase of the King Report confirms that as many as 48,000 students -- about 30 per cent of all students -- could not acquire enough credits for graduation.
The final phase of the report provides more insight into the problems faced by at-risk students.
Key Findings of the Phase Four King Report:
- Over three-quarters of students in academic courses obtained at least 16 credits after two years of secondary school in 2003-4, compared to 41.8 per cent of students in applied courses.
- Higher failure rates in Grades 11 and 12 workplace preparation courses increased the already large gap between applied and academic students in the number of credits obtained by the end of Grade 10.
- Slow but steady growth has occurred over the past five years in the number of students successfully completing eight courses in Grade 9. Similar improvement occurred in credit accumulation rates in Grade 10, however, 36 per cent of students are still one or more credits behind.
- The majority of students enrolled in Grade 9 applied mathematics obtained marks of 60 per cent or less, and very few students obtained marks over 75 per cent.
- Course success rates tend to be higher in French schools than in English schools.
- Secondary school graduation rates after four years were much higher in French schools than English schools.
- Students need more opportunities for remediation and credit recovery.
- The Teacher Advisor Program (TAP) has little influence on students' education and career plans.
- Graduation rates are not being adversely affected by the provincial literacy and community involvement requirements for the secondary school diploma.
Key Recommendations of the King Report :
In the final phase of his report, Dr. King highlighted a number of strategies to improve the likelihood of graduation for students at risk, including:
- Remediation must begin at the first semester of Grade 9.
- Opportunities should be made available for "credit recovery."
- Courses should be more closely tailored to students' abilities and career goals.
- All students should have access to courses that will prepare them for their future.