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The number of graduates is at the end of the school year, while population estimates are as of July 1 of the corresponding school year. Late graduates are included in the calculations while graduates from private schools are not. For this reason, the methodology underestimates the actual graduation rate. The graduation rate should not be used to infer a dropout rate. The four programs that comprise the graduate pool are: regular programs for youth, adult upgrading programs (GED), vocational programs for youth and vocational programs for adults. Due to the small population in the three territories, changes in the number of graduates may yield high percentage changes from year to year.
The graduation rate used by the Elementary Secondary Education Survey (ESES) is aligned with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) requirements in order to ensure that Canadian graduation rate data can be compared with other nations. It is calculated by dividing the number of graduates by the average of the 17 and 18 year old population:
Graduation rate = Graduates (High school graduates (youth and adults) and Vocational program graduates (youth and adults))/Average number of the 17 and 18 year-old population
Due to differences in reporting, comparing graduation rate data between jurisdictions should be done with caution.
The term "educator" refers to not only a teacher, but to all employees in the public school system who are required to have teaching certification as a condition of their employment.
This definition generally includes principals, vice-principals and professional non-teaching staff such as education consultants, guidance counselors and religious and pastoral counselors.
Note that the student-educator ratio is not the same as the student-teacher ratio. The student-educator ratio includes teachers, as well as personnel outside of the classroom, such as principals, counselors and specialists.
Changes in methodology for Alberta does not allow for data comparability prior to 2004/2005, as well as for Nova Scotia, prior to 2005/2006 for the Average Remuneration of Educators.
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