Change to school-leaving certificates positive but lacks oversight

May 1, 2016

By Katie Hyslop, The Tyee, April 11, 2016

Around 60 Indigenous students set to get Evergreens instead of diplomas, violating new rules.

Until this past February, any British Columbian student could be put on track towards a school-leaving certificate, also known as an Evergreen Certificate, instead of a high school diploma.

Originally intended to recognize the achievement of special needs students, whose abilities meant they were unable to earn a high school diploma, Aboriginal Grade 12 students have been receiving Evergreens at more than twice the rate of their non-Indigenous peers since 2010/11.

As a result, allegations of "racism of low expectations" have been aimed at districts with high Aboriginal Evergreen rates by the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC), Indigenous leaders, the BC School Trustees Association and the BC Teachers' Federation.

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