Education – Progress Report 2011
Making Ontario the best place in the world to go to school today, ensures that we have the most competitive workforce tomorrow
In 2003, classrooms were crowded, schools were crumbling and teacher unrest was hurting our children and grandchildren. Our students lost too many teaching days to strikes and unrest, and that chaos drew too much attention away from their learning. Private school enrolment was on the rise as parents lost confidence in our publicly funded schools. When we formed a government, together we got to work. Since then, Ontario hasn’t lost a school day to full-time teachers’ strikes. We’ve lowered class sizes, raised test scores and the graduation rate, added postsecondary spaces, and created new programs to engage students all the way to graduation. And full-day kindergarten is helping our kids get the best possible start.
The single most important thing we can do to ensure we have a highly competitive workforce and to ensure our children enjoy rich, full, happy lives is to invest in their skills and education. That’s why we’re working to:Put full-day kindergarten in all of our schools by 2014.Increase the number of Grade 3 and 6 students meeting Ontario’s standards in reading, writing and math to 75%. Increase grad rates to 85%. Increase the number of Ontarians with postsecondary education to 70%.
Working together we’ve built an education system that’s a model for others around the world. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still more to do.
As of September 2010, about 35,000 four- and five-year-olds in nearly 600 schools benefited from full days of learning and play.
An additional 200 schools will offer full-day kindergarten starting in September 2011, with more locations added each year. Our plan will put full-day kindergarten in every elementary school by 2014–2015.
Full-day kindergarten is helping families by: Giving our youngest students their best start academically and socially. Saving families money on child care for the school year. Helping lift more children out of poverty. Helping busy parents balance work and family life.
Students in smaller classes get more individual attention from teachers and other educators, helping improve literacy and numeracy and are more likely to succeed. In 2010–11, class sizes are smaller: 90% of primary classes had 20 or fewer students compared to 31% in 2003–04. 100% of primary classes had 23 or fewer students compared to 64% in 2003–04.
Our new full-day kindergarten (FDK) program is not included in primary class size calculations. Classes under the new full-day kindergarten program differ from other primary classes by having two educators — one teacher and one early childhood educator — in the classroom. Where an FDK class has 15 students or fewer, only a teacher is required in the classroom.
Did you know?
– The 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) lists Ontario’s students in the top 10 in the world for reading.
– We are funding 12,350 more teaching positions than when we started in 2003.
2009–10 Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) assessment results:Ontario students scored among the highest in the world on the 2009 Program for International Assessment (PISA) test, which is administered globally by the OECD. 68% of students in Grades 3 and 6 are meeting or exceeding the provincial standard (a “B” average) — up 14 percentage points from 54% in 2002–03.Over 50,000 more students in Grades 3, 6 and 9 are meeting or exceeding the provincial standard in reading, writing and mathematics compared to 2002–2003.
We’re helping students in Grades 7 to 12 customize their education to their individual strengths, goals and interests. Programs include:Specialist High Skills Major: Allows students to focus on a future career through a bundle of classroom courses, workplace experiences and sector certifications. In 2010–11, approximately 28,000 Grade 11 and 12 students participated in 18 majors including aviation and aerospace, environment, justice and more. In 2011–12, 34,000 students in more than 600 high schools will participate. E-Learning: Provides students with online courses and allows teachers to share resources across the province.Dual Credits: Counts towards a student’s high school diploma as well as a college certificate, diploma or apprenticeship certification. In 2010–11, 12,800 students participated. Cooperative Education: Allows students to count hands-on learning towards two compulsory high school credits.
We’re also helping struggling high school students get back on track to graduate: Every school board has a Student Success Leader working directly with principals to improve graduation rates. Student Success Teams provide extra support and attention in every high school for students who need it. During the 2010–11 school year, 85 high schools participated in the School Support Initiative to help build staff leadership and improve student achievement.
Did you know?
– Online homework help is available for free for any student who wants it at www.ontario.ca/homeworkhelp
Working with students, parents and educators, Student Success/Learning to 18 has helped raise the high school graduation rate from 68% in 2003–04 to 81% in 2009–10.
That means about 72,000 more students have graduated than would have if the rate remained at the 2003–04 level.
College, University and Apprenticeship
Every qualified Ontario student who wants to go to college or university will find a place.
Already in Ontario, 64% of adults have completed postsecondary education. That’s a higher rate than any OECD country. It’s 20 percentage points higher than the U.S. and twice as high as the U.K. Those places are working hard to catch up so we’re reaching even higher. Our new target is 70%, because experts tell us that seven out of 10 new jobs will require postsecondary education or training.
Did you know?
– Universities increased their degree completion rates from 73% in 2002–03 to 79% in 2009–10. Colleges increased their rates from 57% to 64%.
Skilled workers are in high demand in many industries. Becoming an apprentice can be an important first step to learning new skills and building a rewarding career.
About 120,000 apprentices are learning a trade today — nearly 60,000 more than in 2002–03.
Annual apprenticeship registrations have grown from 17,100 in 2002–03 to more than 29,000 in 2010–11. We’ll continue to increase the number of new registrations while providing support to help apprentices complete their training.
We also established the Ontario College of Trades to modernize Ontario’s apprenticeship and skilled trades system.
In 2010–11, about 200,000 more students, including 60,000 more apprentices, are learning than in 2002–03.
By 2011–12, 15,000 new graduate spaces will be created since 2002–03.
260 new first-year medical student spaces will be created by 2011–12, a 38% increase since 2003. We opened Canada’s first new medical school in 30 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and this year 60% of its graduates chose to enter Family Medicine programs.
Did you know?
– In 2011, we committed $73.7 million over five years to make it easier to transfer credits between postsecondary institutions
To learn more about McGuinty government initiatives in education, second career training, and services to assist internationally trained professionals please visit: