New York Graduates Poorly Prepared For College: Report

For New York's high school graduates, their diploma could be little more than a piece of paper.

According to data from the state's Department of Education, graduates are ill prepared for college after they walk the line.

Across the state, the graduation rate in 2009, the last year for which figures are public, was 77%. But only 41% of high-school students were prepared for a career or college, the state said. The state defines students as college- and career-ready if they score at least an 80 on the state's math Regents exam and at least a 75 on the English Regents exam. New York students receive a high-school diploma if they achieve a score of at least 65 on Regents tests.

The state education department said that in New York City, only 23% of graduating high-school students meet the college- and career-ready standard, compared with a graduation rate of 65% among general-education students.

Amongst African-American students, the graduation rate is 62 percent, with only 15 percent considered college- and career-ready.

In Syracuse, just 1 percent of Hispanic students were at a college-and-career ready level.

There was bad news for charter schools as well. Of the 49 percent of students who graduated from a charter school, just 10 percent were college- and career-ready, according to the report.

"Well before the state announced this plan, we told schools we would begin including robust college readiness metrics to school progress reports," said Shael Polakow-Suransky, the city's chief academic officer.

In 2008, the city's DOE partnered with City University of New York to track how its graduates were performing in city colleges. They then share that information with graduates' high schools so they can address deficiencies.

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