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High School Graduation Rate Reaches All-Time High of 85.5 Per Cent

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High School Graduation Rate Reaches All-Time High of 85.5 Per Cent

Ontario Surpasses Goal of 85 Per Cent of Students Graduating

Office of the Premier

Ontario's high school graduation rate has increased to 85.5 per cent -- the highest level in the province's history, with more students than ever graduating with the skills and knowledge they need to reach their full potential.

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced this milestone at York Mills Collegiate Institute in Toronto today with Liz Sandals, Minister of Education. In 2015, the five-year graduation rate surpassed the government's goal of 85 per cent for the first time. The 2015 rate has increased more than 17 percentage points since 2004, when the graduation rate was just 68 per cent.

For the second year in a row, Ontario is publishing school board level graduation rates from across the province. This gives parents, students, teachers and school boards access to data that can help inform efforts to improve student achievement.

The government has introduced a number of innovative programs through its Student Success Strategy that are credited with helping to sharply boost the graduation rate since 2004. These include Specialist High Skills Majorsdual credits and expanded cooperative education.

Helping more students succeed is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • The percentage of students graduating within five years of starting high school in Grade 9 reached 85.5 per cent in 2015, up from 84.3 per cent in 2014.
  • The percentage of students graduating within four years reached 78.3 per cent in 2015, up from 76.3 per cent in 2014. In 2004, the four-year graduation rate was just 56 per cent.
  • Since 2004, about 190,000 more students have graduated than would have if the graduation rate had remained at the 2004 level. That is more than the population of Guelph and Belleville combined.
  • Ontario’s elementary students also continue to improve their results, with 72 per cent of Grade 3 and 6 students meeting or exceeding the provincial standard of a B grade in reading, writing and math.

Background Information

Additional Resources

Quotes

Kathleen Wynne

“I am thrilled that the high school graduation rate is at an all-time high of 85.5 per cent. This reinforces one of Ontario’s greatest strengths — having one of the most highly educated populations in the world. That’s good news, because in today’s world, education matters more than ever. Ensuring that more students get diplomas means that more people will have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

Liz Sandals

“Our government's commitment was to reach a provincewide five-year graduation rate of 85 per cent. I am so proud that we have now reached that goal and we’re going beyond, thanks to our Student Success Strategy, along with the hard work of students, the support of their parents, and the professionalism of our educators across the province.”

Liz Sandals

Minister of Education

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