Yukon’s graduation rates: top notch or mediocre, depending on who’s counting

Yukon’s Education Department is rethinking how it counts the territory’s high school graduation rate.

Yukon’s Education Department is rethinking how it counts the territory’s high school graduation rate.

The department put last year’s graduation rate at an optimistic 89 per cent.

Yet Statistics Canada, reviewing the same school year, pegged Yukon’s graduation rate 19 percentage points lower — at only 70.7 per cent.

So, how did Yukon’s numbers diverge from those used by Statistics Canada by such a wide margin?

Under Yukon’s graduation formula, many dropouts are left out of the equation.

Yukon took the number of students enrolled in Grade 12 in the beginning of the year and divided that number by how many children graduated.

The problem with this method is it misses all children who dropped out before they reached Grade 12.

That’s why Statistics Canada calculates the graduation rate by working out how 17- and 18-year-old teens the territory has, and then dividing this by the number of graduates.

Yukon’s education officials are now considering adopting StatCan’s graduation formula.

How does Yukon’s graduation rate compare to other Canadian jurisdictions?

The territory sits slightly below the national graduation average of about 75 per cent. Yukon produces a higher percentage of graduates than either the Northwest Territories or Nunavut, yet lags behind all provinces.

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