Officials: 80 Percent Of Recent NYC High School Graduates Cannot Read


Officials: 80 Percent Of Recent NYC High School Graduates Cannot Read
March 7, 2013 10:55 PM

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s an education bombshell.

Nearly 80 percent of New York City high school graduates need to relearn basic skills before they can enter the City University’s community college system.

When they graduated from city high schools, students in a special remedial program at the Borough of Manhattan Community College couldn’t make the grade.

They had to re-learn basic skills — reading, writing and math — first before they could begin college courses.

I’m no fan of PSs, and their academic results are part of my why, but when I saw this headline my first reaction was that PSs can’t be THAT bad. Reading the article showed me that the 80% was of high school graduates attending one particular local junior college, a substantial subset of NYC high school grads, but far from all, and hence not a representative sample. And that their deficiencies spanned a wide range of skills, not “just” reading. My instincts were correct. Now, were this some education reform advocacy group making this claim, I suppose it would be somewhat understandable - false and deceptive, but obviously understandable as a dishonest means of pursuing their end. Wrong, but it happens. But no, the source for the reported factoids was not disingenuous. The problem is with the reporter and the news outlet: CBS, a supposedly legitimate news outlet. The only remaining question for me (aside from the questions of how these students got high school diplomas and oh why NYC school educrats are debasing the value of a diploma), is whether the reporter (and his/her editors) were too ignorant to understand their mistake or too sloppily unprofessional to care! And, frankly, I think “Yes!” a very credible answer to that either-or question!


Pete: In the majority of colleges and universities today, particularly those that are public or 2-year colleges, it is mandatory for all incoming freshman to take an “How to go to college 101” class. This has been policy since I went to college full-time as an older adult in 1990. I was exempt because a few years before that I had taken a number of courses in a junior college and was on the honor roll. Many incoming freshmen from public schools are completely unprepared for the rigors of a college-level education. Most of them have had no experience in writing research papers (learned that when I was a sophomore in high school), how to cite their resources, the difference between a sentence outline or topic outline, do not know how to develop a hypothesis for research, and don’t have a clue on how to write a coherent paragraph. They don’t know how to study, take notes from lectures, or analyze data on any subject matter. They can’t spell, use reference books, or how to determine fact from opinion. In order for colleges to hope for any success, they must first re-educate freshmen so that they at least have a fighting chance at success. Most freshmen that I met while in college couldn’t care less about acquiring these skills. All they wanted to do was to get through the coursework so they could get big bucks once they graduated. They had no concept of why these skills were important beyond their coursework.


Let’s not forget the majority who don’t even go on to a 2 year school to BE tested like this. What might their results look like?? :frowning:




It’s not that I doubt that PSs have been doing a dismal job - that was our primary reason for choosing to homeschool our kids. And I’m well aware that a very large percentage of new high school grads entering colleges and universities have to take remedial courses to learn skills such as CT listed. I was just pointing out the difference between the article’s title and what its subject and scope actually were.

  • The article title claimed “Officials: 80 Percent Of Recent NYC High School Graduates Cannot Read”.

  • The article scope was the experience of just one JC (i.e. “Results may vary”), and that experience was that 80% of their incoming recent grads had to take at least some remedial courses - Composition and Math as well as Reading.

There’s a huge difference between the 80% needing remedial courses and the 80% being totally illiterate. OTOH, that difference may just be another flavor of WASS (We Are So S____ed).


Got that Pete and you are absolutely right…OTOH…one would assume that those attending ANY 2 year college…would have superior abilities to those ending their education with only a HS diploma. My speculation is that it is even worse in the overall HS population. No matter… it is awful and not getting better and the teachers unions in NYS are in absolute control as Bloomberg found out some years back.