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Last week we learned that the Thames Valley students in grade six were not at the provincial level in Math.

Youngsters who do not experience success in elementary school will take the Applied Level courses in grade nine/ten which leads to College Level programing in grades eleven and twelve.

Those who successfully graduate from high school can opt to apply to Fanshawe College. So you want to know what happens to our students when they take on a post secondary education at the college level?

Krista Prokopick, Fanshawe College, Planning Analyst of the Institutional Research and Planning emailed me two graphs for 2003-2007 regarding the “Percentage of Students Completing Program Level by High School English/Math Background Overall College".

In 2007 the University level high school students with an C/D in Math/English level courses had a 75% success rate at Fanshawe.

The stats show that College level high school students with C/D graduating marks in Math had a 47% success rate in their college level courses. Students in the College level courses in English who graduated with C/D’s had a dismal 33% success rate in completing their programs in Community College.

One third to one half of our graduating secondary students in the College Level courses were not successful in 2007. Many students were not prepared for the demands of a community college because they opted for easier high school courses in order to achieve higher marks.

It is a matter of pay me now or pay me later philosophy. The students who took the Academic Math/English courses in grade nine that are required for university entrance did well in their post secondary education.

Taxpayers’/parents’ investment in first year programs is wasted and the Ontario economy continues to experience shortages of trained personnel in Business and Technology.

Here are some recommendations . Check out your elementary school children’s level in English and Math. If the marks are in need of upgrading then get in touch with the Special Education teacher and inform them that your youngster is going to take the Academic Level courses in high school.

Grade nine students who are of the won’t persuasion/not can’t can change their semester two registration to Academic courses. If you have a student in their fourth year of secondary school they can opt to stay for a fifth year to improve their marks/level of courses to have a better chance at a Community College career program.

Parents you now have the facts. Please make wise long term choices for your children. They are our future.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com