Last week, Sharon Otterman of the NY Times shared some unfortunate news :
New York State education officials released a new set of graduation statistics on Monday that show fewer than half of students in the state are leaving high school prepared for college and well-paying careers.
The new statistics, part of a push to realign state standards with college performance, show that only 23 percent of students in New York City graduated read for college or careers in 2009, not counting special-education students. That is well under half the current graduation rate of 64 percent…
Those are troubling statistics. Not only are NYC schools only graduating 2/3 of their students, but of those students, most are not prepared to enter the workforce, or successfully complete freshman level college courses. Merryl Tisch, chancellor of the Board of Regents (the group that makes educational policy decisions for the state), says, “…if you sit on this, you become the Enron of test scores, the Enron of graduation rates. We need to indicate exactly what it all means, especially since we’ve already said that college-ready should be the indicator of high school completion.”
Tisch and other members of the Board of Regents have already begun taking steps to remedy this situation. Just last month the group announced new assessment standards they plan to implement in addition to their adoption last July of the national Common Core State Standards. As we’ve mentioned before, the Common Core provides educators with valuable resources to help move students toward college and career readiness. The Lexile Framework for Reading is one such tool which allows educators to place text demand and student reading ability on the same vertical scale. This provides an opportunity to not only measure individual growth, but also defines how much growth is required for an individual to be prepared to meet post-secondary demands. Kudos to New York for taking action to move their students toward college and career readiness.