kitchen table math, the sequel: Onward and upward

Monday, June 10, 2013

Onward and upward

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.

The number of kids behind the 8-ball is the highest in years, CBS2′s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.

Officials: Most NYC High School Grads Need Remedial Help Before Entering CUNY Community Colleges | Basic Skills Like Reading, Writing And Math Need To Be Re-Learned | March 7, 2013 10:55 PM


Anonymous said...

"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."

No. No. No. No. No.

This is what the article claims, but the article is almost certainly wrong.

More accurately, from the article: "Officials told CBS 2′s Kramer that nearly 80 percent of those who graduate from city high schools arrived at City University’s community college system without having mastered the skills to do college-level work."

There *IS* a difference between these two claims.

I am very willing to believe that 80% of the kids who go to the community colleges need remedial classes. But I also expect that the better students are under-represented at the community college because they are going to places like MIT, Purdue, Rutgers, UCLA, etc.

And *those* kids are almost certainly *NOT* 80% likely to take remedial classes.

In fact, a bit later the article also mentions that "In sheer numbers it means that nearly 11,000 kids who got diplomas from city high schools needed remedial courses to re-learn the basics."

But New York City has about 1.1 million kids attending New York Public schools. This works out to a bit less than 100,000 high school seniors. So 11,000 out of maybe 80,000 to 90,000 kids need remediation. This is *NOT* 80%.

The 11,000 number is too low, of course, because some of the kids going off to Rutgers, UCLA, etc will need remediation, too.

But 80% of NYC high school students do not need to take remedial classes in college!

[Rant over :-)]

-Mark Roulo

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that *at least* 30% of NYC's high school seniors aren't going to the community colleges *and aren't going to 4 year schools. So now we are at 80% of 70%. But some number aren't entering the community colleges at all--say another 30% (the top 30% includes kids with IQs of >108, which seems reasonable). So now we're at 80% of 40%, which is 32%.

Of course, this doesn't include kids that don't go to college for reasons that aren't academic. But I think that 30% is a reasonable estimation of what the 80% in the article actually means.

(As an aside, my 16 year old son recently took the math placement test at the local community college. The proctor was totally amazed with how far he got, saying that no one ever did that well. He tested into trig.)

palisadesk said...

The exact numbers are suspect, but that there is an increase in the number of students who have failed to master basic skills in NYC schools should surprise no one. When Joel Klein came in he mandated the worst excesses of "balanced literacy," forbade direct instruction (and Direct Instruction), forced schools using effective curricula such as DI, the old Open Court, Saxon math and other systematic instructional protocols to cease and desist. There is more than ample evidence that the "readers workshop" and activity-oriented model is largely unsuccessful with students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He should have simply announced, "I have a great plan -- I'm going to lower student achievement by 20% at twice the price!"

This is not a new story, it's reminiscent of the Rockford Reading Disaster that Mary Damer wrote about. From being a top-achieving, high-poverty school, that Rockford elementary reverted to the depths of illiteracy after a new superintendent forced Fountas and Pinnell on everyone.

Same thing all over again, rinse and repeat....