TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 8, 2011) - A correction from source is being issued with respect to the release sent out on March 2nd at 5:08 PM ET. The release incorrectly stated a graduation rate increase from 60% rather than 68%. The complete and corrected version follows.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) joins the Premier in celebrating the success of students and education workers across the province. Today's announcement that Ontario's graduation rate had increased to 81 per cent from 68 per cent in 2003 is a clear indication that Ontario's public schools are working.

"Some critics may complain that the 81 per cent figure includes students that took a fifth year to complete high school," says Ken Coran, President of OSSTF/FEESO. "There are many excellent opportunities for students in secondary schools and it is wonderful to see young people exploring their options before they decide to move into workplace or post-secondary positions."

In 2003, as part of a mass slashing of the Ontario Public School System, the Mike Harris government eliminated Grade 13 and forced students to compress their high school career into four short years.

"Some students require an additional semester or two to successfully complete the requirements of their diploma. It's appropriate that they have the opportunity to do so," said Coran. "Dismissing these students' achievements by not including them in the graduation rate makes no sense."

"A graduation rate of 81 per cent is something all our public education workers should be proud of. Our students are our future. Investing in them means a strong and vibrant future for Ontario," concluded Coran.

OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.

Contact Information: Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
Ken Coran
416.751.8300 or 1.800.267.7867