Hamilton public school board plumps grad rate

News Sep 13, 2019 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) is inflating its high school graduation rate, albeit slightly, by using a different measure than the Ministry of Education.

A Sept. 9 board media release celebrated the latest ministry data, showing 81 per cent of students who began high school in 2013-14 had graduated by the end of August 2018, or within five years.

But it also noted the figure applied to “students who stay at HWDSB.” This excludes those who switched to other boards, something the ministry doesn’t do when releasing annual School Board Progress Reports.

By the ministry’s measure, the Hamilton public board’s five-year success rate for the 2013-14 cohort was 79.7 per cent — below the provincial average of 87.1 per cent, but a 0.9 percentage point improvement since August 2016.

Associate director Peter Sovran said the board approach only uses students who stay within its system because it has no influence on those who leave, which could theoretically happen after a single day at school.

“The ministry doesn’t necessarily like us doing that, and conversely, we and collectively many boards, have told the ministry we don’t particularly like the way they’ve done their calculation,” he said.

“We prefer to say that these are the students that we had influence over and those the ones that we’re being responsible for.”

The board’s self-declared 81 per cent success rate is a one percentage point dip from last year, but is the fourth year in a row to be 80 per cent or better. It’s set a goal of 83 per cent by next August for students who began high school in 2015/16.

Sovran said the board remains focused on the target but is “extremely proud” of the progress on grad rates given they were previously in the 70s.

“This means four out of five students over the last four years have been graduating if they stay with us, so that’s positive,” he said. “The ultimate goal is all students graduating.”

The ministry’s progress report shows the board has seen gains on early indicators of graduation success.

This includes 63 per cent of students completing 16 credits by the end of Grade 10 — up seven percentage points from 10 years ago — and 71 per cent obtaining 23 credits by the end of Grade 11, up 13 points over the same period.

But the board continues to lag behind the provincial average and Hamilton’s Catholic board on both measures, as well as the graduation rate.

The Catholic board’s latest progress report shows it matched the provincial average of an 87.1 per cent grad rate after five years.

Eighty-one per cent of students there met their credit targets by the end of Grade 10, while 83 per cent did so by the end of Grade 11, compared to the provincial average of 79 and 82 per cent, respectively.

Hamilton public school board plumps grad rate

Lower ministry mark includes students who left system, official says

News Sep 13, 2019 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) is inflating its high school graduation rate, albeit slightly, by using a different measure than the Ministry of Education.

A Sept. 9 board media release celebrated the latest ministry data, showing 81 per cent of students who began high school in 2013-14 had graduated by the end of August 2018, or within five years.

But it also noted the figure applied to “students who stay at HWDSB.” This excludes those who switched to other boards, something the ministry doesn’t do when releasing annual School Board Progress Reports.

By the ministry’s measure, the Hamilton public board’s five-year success rate for the 2013-14 cohort was 79.7 per cent — below the provincial average of 87.1 per cent, but a 0.9 percentage point improvement since August 2016.

Associate director Peter Sovran said the board approach only uses students who stay within its system because it has no influence on those who leave, which could theoretically happen after a single day at school.

“The ministry doesn’t necessarily like us doing that, and conversely, we and collectively many boards, have told the ministry we don’t particularly like the way they’ve done their calculation,” he said.

“We prefer to say that these are the students that we had influence over and those the ones that we’re being responsible for.”

The board’s self-declared 81 per cent success rate is a one percentage point dip from last year, but is the fourth year in a row to be 80 per cent or better. It’s set a goal of 83 per cent by next August for students who began high school in 2015/16.

Sovran said the board remains focused on the target but is “extremely proud” of the progress on grad rates given they were previously in the 70s.

“This means four out of five students over the last four years have been graduating if they stay with us, so that’s positive,” he said. “The ultimate goal is all students graduating.”

The ministry’s progress report shows the board has seen gains on early indicators of graduation success.

This includes 63 per cent of students completing 16 credits by the end of Grade 10 — up seven percentage points from 10 years ago — and 71 per cent obtaining 23 credits by the end of Grade 11, up 13 points over the same period.

But the board continues to lag behind the provincial average and Hamilton’s Catholic board on both measures, as well as the graduation rate.

The Catholic board’s latest progress report shows it matched the provincial average of an 87.1 per cent grad rate after five years.

Eighty-one per cent of students there met their credit targets by the end of Grade 10, while 83 per cent did so by the end of Grade 11, compared to the provincial average of 79 and 82 per cent, respectively.

Hamilton public school board plumps grad rate

Lower ministry mark includes students who left system, official says

News Sep 13, 2019 by Richard Leitner hamiltonnews.com

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) is inflating its high school graduation rate, albeit slightly, by using a different measure than the Ministry of Education.

A Sept. 9 board media release celebrated the latest ministry data, showing 81 per cent of students who began high school in 2013-14 had graduated by the end of August 2018, or within five years.

But it also noted the figure applied to “students who stay at HWDSB.” This excludes those who switched to other boards, something the ministry doesn’t do when releasing annual School Board Progress Reports.

By the ministry’s measure, the Hamilton public board’s five-year success rate for the 2013-14 cohort was 79.7 per cent — below the provincial average of 87.1 per cent, but a 0.9 percentage point improvement since August 2016.

Associate director Peter Sovran said the board approach only uses students who stay within its system because it has no influence on those who leave, which could theoretically happen after a single day at school.

“The ministry doesn’t necessarily like us doing that, and conversely, we and collectively many boards, have told the ministry we don’t particularly like the way they’ve done their calculation,” he said.

“We prefer to say that these are the students that we had influence over and those the ones that we’re being responsible for.”

The board’s self-declared 81 per cent success rate is a one percentage point dip from last year, but is the fourth year in a row to be 80 per cent or better. It’s set a goal of 83 per cent by next August for students who began high school in 2015/16.

Sovran said the board remains focused on the target but is “extremely proud” of the progress on grad rates given they were previously in the 70s.

“This means four out of five students over the last four years have been graduating if they stay with us, so that’s positive,” he said. “The ultimate goal is all students graduating.”

The ministry’s progress report shows the board has seen gains on early indicators of graduation success.

This includes 63 per cent of students completing 16 credits by the end of Grade 10 — up seven percentage points from 10 years ago — and 71 per cent obtaining 23 credits by the end of Grade 11, up 13 points over the same period.

But the board continues to lag behind the provincial average and Hamilton’s Catholic board on both measures, as well as the graduation rate.

The Catholic board’s latest progress report shows it matched the provincial average of an 87.1 per cent grad rate after five years.

Eighty-one per cent of students there met their credit targets by the end of Grade 10, while 83 per cent did so by the end of Grade 11, compared to the provincial average of 79 and 82 per cent, respectively.