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Four-year high school causes more dropouts

TORONTO, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A study by a Queen's University professor in Toronto found the graduation rate at only 62 percent for the new four-year Ontario high school program.

The study by Alan King showed thousands of Ontario high-school students were dropping out or at risk of failing to graduate under the province's new four-year curriculum, the Globe and Mail reported Saturday.

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"About one-quarter of students in the first cohort of the reorganized program are unlikely to graduate," King said in the report, which was commissioned by the previous Tory government.

Nearly 40 percent did not graduate on time last year, and close to half of those students have dropped out of high school, the report said.

King said the reason for the increased drop-out rate was students in Grades 9 and 10 were failing required courses -- especially mathematics -- because schools catered to college-bound students and failed to offer alternatives to those seeking work after high school.

King tracked 162,000 students who began the new four-year curriculum in Grade 9. Ontario's five-year high-school program ended last year.

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