Whistler Secondary students score above average on provincial exams 

Whistler Secondary Grade 12 students scored well above the district average in their provincial exams according to information released this week by the Ministry of Education.

In most of the exams taken the 2001-02 class scored about 5 per cent higher than other students in the Howe Sound District.

For example the district average for Biology 12 was 69 per cent. Students at Whistler Secondary scored 75.4 per cent on average.

Across the province 49 per cent of Grade 12 Biology students achieved a C+ or better.

Whistler Secondary principal Ken Davies was thrilled with the results.

He puts the success of the class down to hard work by the students, great home support, dedicated teachers and the environment of learning at the school.

He hopes the classes coming up each achieve their own success.

"What we try to do is maximize their success, no matter who the cohort is, and it differs from year to year," said Davies.

"We identify their strengths and hone in on those but we also identify any areas that need improvement and hone in on those too.

"If, at the end of the day, we can say that the students have reached their potential then we have been successful, whatever that potential might be.

"Our aim is to never rest on our laurels but to always try and see what we can do to make things better."

The province-wide results were considered good news by Education Minister Christy Clark.

"Our Grade 12 students deserve to be proud of their accomplishments," she told the media at a press conference Tuesday.

"More than half the students who wrote the Grade 12 Principles of Mathematics exam and 40 per cent of the students who wrote the History 12 exam got an A or a B."

Students are required to take a language arts exam to graduate. But many students take several exams as part of their quest to go on to university.

In 2001-02 students chose from 21 different courses, with provincial exams in subjects ranging from Spanish to Geology.

Despite the positive results Clark was concerned at the low number of students writing exams in core subjects such as Math. Only one-third of Grade 12 students took the Math exam. And almost one quarter of all Grade 12 students took only the language arts exam required.

Under the proposed changes to the graduation requirements the number of provincial exams offered would be reduced from 22 to as few as eight with all students required to write comprehensive exams in four core subject areas – language arts, math, sciences and social studies – to graduate.

The provincial exams are worth 40 per cent of the final course marks for students. Most of the 51,595 Grade 12 students wrote the exams in January and June.

Clark said the results confirmed the need for the reform of the graduation requirements. The first students to feel the impact of the proposed changes will be those set to graduate in 2006-07.

For more results go to www.bced.gov.bc.ca and follow the links.

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