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  #1  
Old Jun 15, '12, 8:15 pm
hannajomar hannajomar is offline
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Default NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

That's not a typo. The high school graduation rate in 2011 increased to 65.5%, and Mayor Bloomberg has been bragging about this. Here's some more disturbing facts from the article.

Quote:
More alarming, the data show that barely one in five students graduated from a city high school last June ready to take on college-level work, based on a higher bar that tries to predict success in college.

The city’s June 2011 college-ready rate was 20.7 percent, down from 21.4 percent in 2010, according to the state.

“These trends are very disturbing,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers. “There’s no progress in the racial achievement gap in graduation rates, while college readiness is actually falling.”

Using a broader set of criteria than the state’s, a measure that includes SAT scores, city officials put the college-ready rate here at a higher 24.7 percent for June 2011 graduates.

The latest City University of New York figures reveal that only 21.6 percent of city public high-school grads who enrolled there last fall were not mandated to take remedial courses in math, reading or writing.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/c...#ixzz1xvAekmRI

To me, these stats say that even the 65% of kids who get the diplomas are only getting a piece of paper. It doesn't mean that much if you still have an 80% chance of needing remedial classes before you can take on college work.

Here in NYC, this is talked about on the local news shows, on the radio and in newspapers. I hear so much talk about what to blame this problem on - teachers unions, school funding, etc... Someone quoted in this article suggests "including a new, richer, curriculum." No one ever talks about how the breakdown of the family is contributing to this problem, which I'm assuming is happening in many places besides NYC. John Gambling on his radio show yesterday finally brought up the fact that many of these kids don't have stable home lives. If I understood him correctly, he said in effect that the school system has to be strong enough to override negative factors, such as living with only one parent. Bells started going off in my head when I heard this. It's such a huge mistake to believe that any government program can take the place of a supportive family and community life. As it is, many of the kids get breakfast and lunch at school. They even have programs in the summer where kids can still go to school to get fed. In what kind of society do parents not have the responsibility to even feed their children, let alone provide a nurturing upbringing for them? ok, rant over...
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  #2  
Old Jun 15, '12, 9:44 pm
meltzerboy meltzerboy is online now
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

I teach at a private Catholic University, as well as part-time in the CUNY system. Within the twenty colleges that comprise the City University of New York, most of the remedial courses are given at the four or so two-year community colleges, which have huge enrollments. There are also a larger proportion of adult learners at these community colleges, many of whom have been away from school for a long period of time. The students I have taught in the City University of New York are primarily first-generation college students. Some are immigrants who do not speak or write English fluently. For the most part, however, they are serious students who work very hard to succeed, and many of them do. The majority have to work outside of school or are involved in work-study programs, in addition to supporting their own families. Many also receive some form of financial aid, even though the tuition costs are very low compared to the tuition at private universities. These students have little sense of entitlement and are desirous of bettering their lives. My students at the Catholic University where I teach are a different sort. While I love them just as much, they play the system more often, meaning they will attempt to do as little work as possible and, at the same time, reap the greatest rewards. Most of these students do not work outside the home and many of them live at home with their parents. Overall, I believe they are more caught up in the negative influences of modern-day culture than the City University students despite, or perhaps because of, their greater social advantages.
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  #3  
Old Jun 16, '12, 8:44 am
JimG JimG is offline
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

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Originally Posted by meltzerboy View Post
I teach at a private Catholic University, as well as part-time in the CUNY system. Within the twenty colleges that comprise the City University of New York, most of the remedial courses are given at the four or so two-year community colleges, which have huge enrollments. There are also a larger proportion of adult learners at these community colleges, many of whom have been away from school for a long period of time. The students I have taught in the City University of New York are primarily first-generation college students. Some are immigrants who do not speak or write English fluently. For the most part, however, they are serious students who work very hard to succeed, and many of them do. The majority have to work outside of school or are involved in work-study programs, in addition to supporting their own families. Many also receive some form of financial aid, even though the tuition costs are very low compared to the tuition at private universities. These students have little sense of entitlement and are desirous of bettering their lives. My students at the Catholic University where I teach are a different sort. While I love them just as much, they play the system more often, meaning they will attempt to do as little work as possible and, at the same time, reap the greatest rewards. Most of these students do not work outside the home and many of them live at home with their parents. Overall, I believe they are more caught up in the negative influences of modern-day culture than the City University students despite, or perhaps because of, their greater social advantages.
Your experience is that the CUNY students work hard to learn and are serious about it, with the private school students having somewhat less in the way of a work ethic.

I guess the question is whether the high schools those CUNY students attended adequately prepared them, and if not, why not.

Sometimes it seems to me that students merely live up to, or down to, or expectations. The Catholic schools in my diocese graduate students who for the most part would not need any remedial courses in college. They are well prepared and hard working. Yet I hear of school districts which graduate students who are near illiterates at graduation. Is it just because nobody really expects them to learn? I recall an nun once who was substitute teaching for a PSR class. She said, "these students need to be challenged."
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  #4  
Old Jun 16, '12, 9:06 am
meltzerboy meltzerboy is online now
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

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Originally Posted by JimG View Post
Your experience is that the CUNY students work hard to learn and are serious about it, with the private school students having somewhat less in the way of a work ethic.

I guess the question is whether the high schools those CUNY students attended adequately prepared them, and if not, why not.

Sometimes it seems to me that students merely live up to, or down to, or expectations. The Catholic schools in my diocese graduate students who for the most part would not need any remedial courses in college. They are well prepared and hard working. Yet I hear of school districts which graduate students who are near illiterates at graduation. Is it just because nobody really expects them to learn? I recall an nun once who was substitute teaching for a PSR class. She said, "these students need to be challenged."
I hope I didn't make it sound as if most of the students who attend private colleges have no work ethic. It's just been my experience that more of the students who attend the public university realize what an opportunity this is for them and try to make the most of it. On the whole, however, as you state, the private school students are better prepared for college and don't need remedial courses. But I do find that more of them need "kick-in-the-butt" courses when they get to college. As I mentioned, some are too good at playing the system rather than using their minds in a constructive way. This is my experience as an instructor, but perhaps not yours.

The point you raise about expectations is a good one. I think too many public school teachers lower their expectations regarding what their students can achieve. Actually, the same lowering of expectations, including a softening of grades, applies to college teachers at both private and public institutions as it does to high school teachers. I believe that standards of education have, in general, declined across the board for several decades. This is symptomatic of dramatic social and cultural changes and cannot, in my view, be explained except on a multidimensional level. Some blame the quality of teachers; others, the teacher unions; still others the disintegration of families; while there are those who point to the government and its entitlement programs. All of these factors may have contributed; but I think the problem extends even further and deeper than this, to such things as instant gratification through technology, the global culture of violence and death, the media, lack of instruction with regard to simple manners and courtesy, misguided role models for children, and so on.
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  #5  
Old Jun 16, '12, 9:32 am
hannajomar hannajomar is offline
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

I'm thinking about what will happen to the 1 out of 3 kids who doesn't graduate high school. What's going to happen to them? What kind of life can you expect in America when you don't have a high school diploma? I feel sad for those kids.
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  #6  
Old Jun 17, '12, 12:25 pm
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Kouyate42 Kouyate42 is offline
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

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Originally Posted by hannajomar View Post
I'm thinking about what will happen to the 1 out of 3 kids who doesn't graduate high school. What's going to happen to them? What kind of life can you expect in America when you don't have a high school diploma? I feel sad for those kids.
Gone are the days when you could easily walk into a company and get a job without a single qualification, both in the US and here in the UK. In a tough job market, people with degrees are struggling to find work.

To my mind, leaving school without a single exam highlights a lot of major problems. Certainly for the UK, school leaving exams at the end of compulsory schooling are among the easiest things in the world, and I'm sure that some US-educated people will likely tell me the same of US exams. So if someone can't even complete that successfully, they will likely struggle with real-world life.

Fair enough, there's some people out there who genuinely drop out of high school for good reasons, but it's a small minority.
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  #7  
Old Jun 17, '12, 12:35 pm
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buffalo buffalo is offline
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

The salient question is - what do they know?
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  #8  
Old Jun 17, '12, 7:07 pm
JimG JimG is offline
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

There is the further problem that, even for those who graduate, the advent of the Internet has played havoc with our attention spans, making true literacy something less than it was in the past.

See, for example: "My blog will make you stupid."
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Old Jun 17, '12, 7:35 pm
meltzerboy meltzerboy is online now
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG View Post
There is the further problem that, even for those who graduate, the advent of the Internet has played havoc with our attention spans, making true literacy something less than it was in the past.

See, for example: "My blog will make you stupid."
I'm not alone in thinking that the high-tech society we live in, particularly as represented by the Internet and other gadgetry, will influence the evolutionary changes of the human brain in successive generations. It may have already begun to take place in the younger generation.

Last edited by meltzerboy; Jun 17, '12 at 7:50 pm.
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  #10  
Old Jun 18, '12, 11:30 am
seekerz seekerz is offline
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

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Originally Posted by JimG View Post
There is the further problem that, even for those who graduate, the advent of the Internet has played havoc with our attention spans, making true literacy something less than it was in the past.

See, for example: "My blog will make you stupid."
Interesting article. I don't share the rather pessimistic outlook but I do agree that it has become increasingly difficult for me to read articles word for word (and yes, I did only scan the salient points made in the article ).

On the other hand, I have seen great benefits to my depth and breadth of knowledge, as well as my ability to research issues and rethink things once simply accepted as fact. Those fruits of the information age, to me, outweigh the ability to read/listen word for word - something I've always been bad at anyway...If something is interesting, the brain will tune in, if not, it will be distracted - at least that's the way it works for me.

The combination of Google and the multiple tab capability of browsers provides me access to possible solutions for just about every daily challenge: from do-it-yourself projects to academic research. I find very little downside to that, except the temptation to spend too much time glued to a chair - a problems mobile technology addresses quite nicely.

To me, education took a nosedive when reading became less popular - and that, in my experience, happened with the advent of 24-hr TV - well before there was a PC in every home. The decline of reading actually may be flattening off with the advent of electronic readers. I know they have me reading again, in a way I haven't since childhood.

As for the way the brain works - well that's what we know; maybe there's still neurology waiting to be discovered as we put it through paces it's never been through before. I for one can't wait to find out...
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Old Jun 18, '12, 4:10 pm
JimG JimG is offline
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

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Originally Posted by seekerz View Post
Interesting article. I don't share the rather pessimistic outlook but I do agree that it has become increasingly difficult for me to read articles word for word (and yes, I did only scan the salient points made in the article ).

On the other hand, I have seen great benefits to my depth and breadth of knowledge, as well as my ability to research issues and rethink things once simply accepted as fact. Those fruits of the information age, to me, outweigh the ability to read/listen word for word - something I've always been bad at anyway...If something is interesting, the brain will tune in, if not, it will be distracted - at least that's the way it works for me.

The combination of Google and the multiple tab capability of browsers provides me access to possible solutions for just about every daily challenge: from do-it-yourself projects to academic research. I find very little downside to that, except the temptation to spend too much time glued to a chair - a problems mobile technology addresses quite nicely.

To me, education took a nosedive when reading became less popular - and that, in my experience, happened with the advent of 24-hr TV - well before there was a PC in every home. The decline of reading actually may be flattening off with the advent of electronic readers. I know they have me reading again, in a way I haven't since childhood.

As for the way the brain works - well that's what we know; maybe there's still neurology waiting to be discovered as we put it through paces it's never been through before. I for one can't wait to find out...
I pretty much agree with everything you say, and yet I also blame the Internet culture in part for the loss of true literacy, and the ability to read and write serious books, with no popups, links, or distractions.

Certainly the Internet provides a good deal of information, and yet it does not provide all information. Not every book in every library is indexed by Google, although Google would sure like that.

And research done solely on the Internet often tends to be superficial. My neice, who taught English comp to high school students in a pretty good school district, had as her chief complaint that when she assigned compositions on particular subjects, what she got back was a hash of cut and paste segments from Google without attribution of the source, often without even bothering to change the font! Her policy was to give a zero to any essay that copied without attribution.

As for the kids, they seem to have found it nearly impossible to put their thoughts into words, unless it could be copied from the Internet.

Maybe we've just reached a point in history where there can never again be an Aquinas or a Dickens, or even a Twain. Their sentences and paragraphs are just too long, and there are no distractions!
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Old Jun 18, '12, 7:10 pm
seekerz seekerz is offline
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Default Re: NYC high school graduation rate is UP to 65.5%

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG View Post
I pretty much agree with everything you say, and yet I also blame the Internet culture in part for the loss of true literacy, and the ability to read and write serious books, with no popups, links, or distractions.

Certainly the Internet provides a good deal of information, and yet it does not provide all information. Not every book in every library is indexed by Google, although Google would sure like that.

And research done solely on the Internet often tends to be superficial. My neice, who taught English comp to high school students in a pretty good school district, had as her chief complaint that when she assigned compositions on particular subjects, what she got back was a hash of cut and paste segments from Google without attribution of the source, often without even bothering to change the font! Her policy was to give a zero to any essay that copied without attribution.

As for the kids, they seem to have found it nearly impossible to put their thoughts into words, unless it could be copied from the Internet.

Maybe we've just reached a point in history where there can never again be an Aquinas or a Dickens, or even a Twain. Their sentences and paragraphs are just too long, and there are no distractions!
I agree with your comments on the quality of research among students. Part of the problem is lack of adult supervision, as well as the fact that even many adults do not know how to discriminate among websites (as in authoritative vs John Brown's personal opinion). A common lament is that many college students look no further than Wikipedia when researching a scholarly topic! Add to that the fact that many sites of reliable information require registrations and/or subscriptions and you have a whole lot of substandard information being absorbed as fact...

One observation of mine though, is that the quality of kids' communication (on their topics of interest in chat rooms and boards) can supersede the quality of assigned homework - both in creativity, and surprisingly enough, in grammar. At least that has been my personal experience with some of the young men in my family.

I think we have to do a better job using technology to improve education standards, because like it or not, this generation is wired to its teeth!
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From the age of pharaohs through myriad mutations of the enduring human inclination to oppress and exclude through unjust remuneration, the basic justification has remained unchanged. It is the fear, affected or real, propounded by countless leaders, scholars, and statesman, that extending justice to all, will lead to national impoverishment and decline. Cyclical retelling of the Exodus story among people of faith serves to celebrate the role of God's saving justice in the human cycle of oppression and redemption. It also serves as an admonition to be on the right side of this story in every age and time.
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