“One of the most robust predictions about any teenager’s future is that dropping out of high school will increase the probability of a life marred by lengthy bouts of unemployment and poverty. Although a high-school certificate is a low rung on the education ladder, it is the crucial one if an individual is to have reasonable employment prospects. For Canadians without a high-school certificate, the average employment rate is under 40 percent; for those with high school, the rate is roughly 25 percentage points higher.” writes John Richards in School Dropouts: Who Are They and What Can Be Done? on cdhowe.org.
“While Canada has made progress in the past two decades in terms of lowering high-school dropout rates, those rates remain unacceptably high for boys and certain groups characterized by poverty and cultural traditions that do not stress formal schooling.
“The male share of the dropout population continues to rise, with five males now dropping out for every three females.”
“According to the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment, the performance of academically weak students, students at the 10th percentile, has declined in many provinces over the decade. (The 10th percentile score is such that 90 percent of students in a province scored higher, and only 10 percent lower.) Poor performance on standardized tests is a powerful indicator of a student subsequently dropping out of school. In some provinces and some subjects, 10th percentile scores rose over the last decade; in most provinces and most subjects, they fell. Large declines (over 20 points) exist for reading in three provinces (SA, MB, PEI), for mathematics in four (AB, SA, MB, PEI), for science in two (MB, PEI). Sizeable increases (10 points and over) exist for reading in three provinces (ON, NB, NS) and for science in two (ON, NS).” adds Richards.
“If one digs into the data, it becomes clear that serious problems still exist: among boys relative to girls.” Writes Richards.
“As well, some groups of immigrants, those living in rural areas and Aboriginals exhibit a worrisome lack of educational achievement compared with the Canadian average “