Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Auditor's Report on Aboriginal Graduation Rates Should Be a Wake-Up Call

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Auditor's Report on Aboriginal Graduation Rates Should Be a Wake-Up Call

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Auditor's report on aboriginal graduation rates should be a wake-up call

--

An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published Jan. 21:

For a province that has Canada's highest proportion of aboriginal populations, Manitoba should be setting the standard for what works in education. The high school graduation rates here, generally, for aboriginal people -- and especially in the First Nations population -- are dismal compared with the rest of Canada. That's been true for a long time.

But Manitoba has not set the pace on getting children ready to start school, to stick with it and to succeed. The record shows other provinces -- Ontario and Saskatchewan in their strategies; B.C. and Alberta in funding levels -- have good ideas on how to attack the embarrassing gap between the aboriginal and non-aboriginal graduation rates.

In Manitoba, which first set out its "plan" to close the gap in 2004, about 55 per cent of aboriginal students graduate high school on time, compared with 96 per cent of non-aboriginal students. That is what's called a "proxy" rate: comparing the number that graduated to the number in Grade 9 four years earlier. The numbers are worse when individual students were tracked through four years.

The gap, instead of closing, has widened, Manitoba auditor general Norm Ricard said in a recent report.

Getting just ahead of the bad news, Education Minister James Allum released a new plan earlier this month. Mr. Allum says an NDP government would tighten up on the strategy, but aside from finally making some statistics public -- you measure what you value, and you value what you measure, the saying goes -- it's not entirely clear how good the new plan is.

Mr. Ricard's office found, to date, there has been a general lack of leadership from the Education Department: after having set out the broad goals in past years, it pretty much sat back and let school divisions and the other government departments involved with improving life for aboriginal people do their own things. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.