Report: 1 in 10 New York City Schools Produce College-Ready Graduates

New York City schools continue to struggle with producing graduates who are ready for college, Corinne Lestch of the New York Daily News reports. A study by the United Federation of Teachers finds that out of all city high schools, only one in ten adequately prepare the majority of their graduates for college-level academic work.

According to the data collected by UFT, about 35 city schools account for an overwhelming majority of all of the city’s college-ready graduates. Last year 16,000 city student graduated from high school in NYC, and about half will not require remediation if they choose to enroll in college or university.

Among the 35 schools named are the city’s famed specialized high schools like Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Technical School and Stuyvesant High School in downtown Manhattan.

State college-ready standards take into account only Regents exam grades, while city standards also include scores on the SAT and other college assessments.

State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said she was disheartened by the disproportionate college readiness rates — and plugged the new, more difficult Common Core standards as a benchmark of improvement.

“We will know we are being successful with the implementation of Common Core if we see that the number of college- and career-ready students is more evenly disbursed throughout the system,” Tisch said. “Even though it makes us uncomfortable to look at these numbers, let’s use them as a clarion call to action.”

The results – which UFT president Michael Mulgrew characterized as “the tale of two systems” – shows that efforts by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor of NYC Department of Education Dennis Walcott to improve college readiness of the city’s students have so far having a limited impact. The situation appears similar to what prevailed before Bloomberg was finally able to wrest direct control over the city’s schools from DOE bureaucrats: a small number of schools are graduating a large number of well-prepared students with the rest of the city lagging far behind.

Nearly two weeks ago, city officials announced the college-readiness rate rose to 22.2% in 2013 from 21.1% for the graduating class of 2012.

The rate is even lower for minorities — 13% for black students and 15% for Latinos.

But officials frequently tout the progress made in lowering the achievement gap.

“A decade ago, we inherited a broken system that we’ve brought into the 21st century,” said Education Department spokesman Devon Puglia.

“We’ve virtually doubled the number of college-ready students since 2005, as we’ve created 656 new, high-performing options across the five boroughs,” he continued. “We can’t turn back the clock on our students by rolling back the reforms that have produced remarkable results.”