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Toronto Vital Signs Report – Issue Nine: Learning

Toronto Foundation has just released Vital Signs Report 2019: Growing Pains and Narrow Gains. This report provides a consolidated snapshot of the trends and issues affecting the quality of life in our city and each of the interconnected issue areas is critical to the wellbeing of Toronto and its residents.

Vital Signs examines ten issue areas. We are going to explore highlights of each of these sections. Issue Nine is Learning.

Toronto is home to 55 language-training schools and 140 private career colleges. High-school graduation rates are improving, and more people are going to post-secondary schools. But far more students are saying they do not enjoy school, and the pressure to succeed is growing, while tuition is getting more and more expensive.

  • Graduation rates are improving across all demographics, while select overlooked groups still have much lower graduation rates.
  • Income is a strong predictor of high-school graduation.
  • Toronto elementary students are struggling in math, and the situation is getting worse.
  • More students are reporting they do not enjoy school, and the pressure to secure good grades is increasing, while mental health challenges among youth are growing very rapidly.
  • More students are obtaining a post-secondary education, with big improvements in many overlooked groups, though children in single-parent families are still lagging behind.
  • Tuition costs have increased well beyond inflation in Toronto.
  • International student numbers have doubled recently, as more students are coming to Canada.
  • Many newcomers with advanced degrees are working in jobs requiring no education.

CSI member Andrea Fanjoy is part of a project to design an independent secondary school that distinctly offers what students need to thrive at school and lifelong. It will invite them to leverage their passions and talents to enrich their learning. It will connect students with external experts and partner with organizations in the GTA for the value they bring to student learning. It will challenge students to exercise leadership in their learning, and support them as they begin having an authentic impact on their corner of the world.

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