More Edmonton public school students are completing high school, but not as many are reaching provincial standards on diploma exams as the district would like.

On Wednesday the school district announced the results of last year's district student achievement test results written by students across the province in Grades 3, 6, 9 and 12.

Over the last five years, the number of students who graduated high school rose by 2.9 per cent, rising to 74.9 per cent from 72.0 per cent.

The results also showed Grade 3, 6 and 9 students in Edmonton improved in core subjects, matching up well against students across the province.

"We take great pride in the fact that an increasing number of elementary and junior high students are doing well in core courses, and that more young people are completing high school," said trustee Dave Colburn.

Other highlights:

  • Grade 6 and 9 students surpassed provincial results for all core subjects, including French language arts.

  • Grade 3, 6, and 9 students performed well on the revised math tests, exceeding the province at both the acceptable standard and standard of excellence.

  • The percentage of students meeting the acceptable standard for the Grade 3 English Language Arts test rose above 80 per cent for the first time in five years.

  • Grade 12 students had strong results in all science subjects and French Language arts, while other subjects, including math, social studies, and English Language Arts fell below the provincial average.

The board is working to make sense of the mixed results on the Grade 12 diploma results and how to get the marks up on all core subjects, said Colburn. 

"We have a large number of immigrant and refugee students and siginificant number of aboriginal and special need students," he said. "We're grappling with that complex student population."

Edmonton Catholic Schools were happy with its results.

The percentage of Edmonton Catholic students achieving the Acceptable Standard exceeded the provincial percentage of students in 14 out of 17 standards.