While Chilliwack students are gradually improving in school performance, improvement is slow for high school graduations and transitions from Grade 9.
That’s according to the latest release of the Ministry of Education’s Foundations Skills Assessment, which measures student performance in reading, writing and numeracy annually.
Chilliwack’s Grade 4 students have improved nearly 10 points across all three categories since the 2009/10 school year, rising to the current level where about 80 per cent of all students are meeting or exceeding requirements for reading, writing, and numeracy.
Local Grade 7 students scored at 68 per cent for reading, 72 per cent for writing, and 60 per cent for numeracy. These are significant increases in performance from 2009/13, when the figures were 53, 56, and 46 per cent respectively.
A slightly higher percentage of Chilliwack students are getting their Dogwood every year, but progress is slow. Five-year completion rates stood at 69 per cent for all students in 2011/12, slightly higher for females than males. Among aboriginal students, five-year completions were more than 20 points behind the average.
Average graduation rates among Chilliwack’s three public high schools have been steady or slowly rising for four years, but dropping for aboriginal students at Chilliwack secondary and GW Graham. Overall, 82 per cent of Chilliwack secondary seniors graduated last year, compared with 58 per cent of aboriginal students. At GW Graham, eight out of 10 seniors received their Dogwood, but only six out of 10 aboriginal students. At Sardis secondary, 78 per cent of seniors graduated last year, a figure that fell to 67 per cent among aboriginal students.
Students transitioning from Grade 9 to higher levels has barely budged in the last five years, remaining steady between 94 per cent average for all students to 89 per cent for aboriginal students.
Despite opposition to the FSA from certain parent groups, 94 per cent of Chilliwack’s Grade 4 students and 90 per cent of Grade 7 students wrote the assessment this year, an increase from 2011/12. Provincially, Grade 4 and 7 reading, writing, and numeracy performance has either not changed, or improved by up to three percentage points.