Newfoundland and Labrador earns "D" grade on Education and Skills report card

OTTAWA, June 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Despite some areas of strength, Newfoundland and Labrador earns a "D" grade on The Conference Board of Canada's first "How Canada Performs: Education and Skills" report card to compare the 10 provinces and 16 advanced countries.

"Newfoundland and Labrador has shown improvement in many of the basic building blocks of an educated population—notably its high school and college completion rates," said Michael Bloom, Vice-President, Industry and Business Strategy. "As the provincial economy continues to expand, Newfoundland and Labrador will need to find skilled workers."


  • Newfoundland and Labrador has shown great improvement in high-school and college attainment rates.
  • Student skills are relatively weak in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • The province earns "D" grades for the high number of adults with low literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills.

Newfoundland and Labrador earns a "B" on the percentage of the population aged 25 to 64 that has completed high school — the only province to not earn an "A" grade on this indicator. However, among the provincial population aged 25 to 34 years, 93 per cent have earned a high school diploma, on par with the rest of the country.

In addition, Newfoundland and Labrador earns an "A" grade for the share of its population aged 25 to 64 with a college diploma.

The province's critical weaknesses are in the areas of student skills and adult skills, where Newfoundland and Labrador is a below-average performer compared to other provinces and international peers.

Newfoundland and Labrador achieves mostly "C" grades on the results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test of 15-year-old students. It receives a "D" grade for its low proportion of students with high-level math skills, but a "B" for a comparatively small proportion of students with low-level science skills.

The province gets "D" grades for all adult skills indicators, including a "D-" for the share of adults with inadequate numeracy skills.

How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to peer countries in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society.

Released today, and building on previous "How Canada Performs" analyses, the Education and Skills report card is the second of six to be produced over the next year on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. The Economy report card was published in May 2014. The remaining report cards will follow over the next year.

This is the first year that provincial rankings are included in the report cards. Data sources and report card methodology can be found on the How Canada Performs website.


SOURCE: Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail:


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