– Only 35 percent of New York State students who graduate high school in four years are considered “college ready.” That means they scored 80 percent or higher on a Regents math test and 75 percent or higher on a Regents English test.
In the Rochester City School District, only 6 percent of graduates are college ready. When you factor in the graduation rate, the statistics show only 3 out of 100 students who enter high school will graduate on time and college ready four years later.
The SUNY system, stung by the enormous cost of remediation programs at community colleges, is now considering a test that would be administered to high school students their sophomore year to assess college preparedness. The Syracuse Post-Standard reports:
“If we could possibly administer something commonly across the state in the sophomore year, we would have all of the junior and senior year to work through improvement and remediation,” (SUNY Chancellor Nancy) Zimpher said.
The chancellor has identified the remediation issue as a key focus for SUNY this year. Statewide, 40 percent to 70 percent of students seeking a two-year associate’s degree arrive on campus needing to take at least one remedial course. Those students end up spending their time and money on classes that offer no college credits.
Zimpher said SUNY spends $70 million a year on remediation at its community colleges. In addition, students spend 20 percent of their financial aid — or $93 million a year — on non-credit remedial classes. Nearly $40 million of that aid is in loans that students must repay.
At Monroe Community College, one in three students needs remedial classes.
Is another test to assess college readiness really necessary? What’s the role of the SAT? If students haven’t passed any Regents tests by sophomore year, that’s an obvious sign the student is not college ready. Also, perhaps the state should consider raising the bar to get a diploma or redefining what it considers college ready. Passing two Regents tests with middling scores hardly seems adequate.
– There’s a nationwide movement of undocumented immigrants coming out of the shadows and daring immigration officials to deport them. The Post-Standard has a compelling story of one such man, beloved in his community.
– Landscapes drawn by an Attica inmate imprisoned for murder are featured in Golf Digest.
– Scrap metal thieves are getting desperate, turning to public toilet parts in a Buffalo suburb.