Canada’s dropout rate improves

But 10th percentile scores decline

Canada’s high school dropout rate has significantly declined over the past 20 years. The National Post summarized the results of three recent reports, including one from Statistics Canada that reported a declining high school dropout rate. For young adults aged 20-24, the rate was 8.5 per cent in 2009/2010, down about half from 20 years ago.

The Canadian high school dropout rate for adults aged 25-34 is 8 per cent, which compares favourably to an OECD average dropout rate of 20 per cent.

The third report, from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), measured the strength of school programs internationally. Despite doing well for average scores, Canadian schools didn’t do so well when it came to the 10th-percentile scores, which declined in many provinces over the past ten years. The Post pointed out that the highest provincial dropout rate, in Quebec, is twice as high as the lowest, in B.C.

Lastly, the dropout rate declined for First Nations aged 45-plus and those aged 35-44 among. The rate did not decline for those under the age of 35, which means a third of First Nation adults between the ages of 25-44 have no high school certification.