Sunday, April 17, 2011

New York City highschool students are not prepared for college (an essay I just did for school)

       The article “Most New York Students Are Not College-Ready” by Sharon Otterman discusses the state of New York City public school students and whether or not high schools are really preparing these students for college. The article states “The new statistics, part of a push to realign state standards with college performance, show that only 23 percent of students of students in New York City graduated ready for college or careers in 2009, not counting special- education students”. As a New York City high school graduate of Class of 2010, I am in no way surprised by this statement. I’ve felt for a long time that our high schools do not prepare us for college and now being a college student I know that for a fact. I honestly believe that I was not prepared for college when I graduated.
        Personally, I feel that a lot a students who graduated high school in year 2010 shouldn’t have and I am one of them. Throughout high school I failed just about every class and went to summer school every year (besides the year I graduated). I also had to take a pm school class as well as a class over the following semesters. I was very lazy and really didn’t care about school work; I was upset to see the poor/failing grades but didn’t care enough to work harder, especially since I was given second chances. Since I started high school my guidance counselors and principal made it very clear, the school's main goal were not to prepare us for college but to get us out of there in 4 years. I think that the statistic: “Only 23 percent of students in NYC graduated ready for college or careers in 2009” is a fact based on of my experiences with high school and Mayor Bloomberg’s No child left behind policy. I remember when I first heard of “No child left behind” when I was in middle school, I would think “but what if a child does get left back?”, basically wondering if a student does not meet the requirement to go on to the next grade do they still go on to the next grade? I realized the answer to my question in high school. I feel that high school babies its students. Students who don’t show up class, don’t do the work, and don’t seem to care whether or not they finish high school are able to simply show up to summer school and pm school classes, get the passing grade, and graduate on time.
       75 percent of student who enroll in community colleges need remedial courses. I am surprised by this statistic, mostly because I didn’t need any remedial courses when I enrolled in college. A few of my friends did and that was shocking to me, because each one of them had better grades than I did and did not have to attend summer school at all throughout high school. Also after I was accepted to Medgar Evers College I was exempt from the CUNY acceptance exam. I only needed to take an exam to determine whether I needed a remedial course for math or not, which I didn’t. Each factor I stated surprised me and they still do. I am not sure what is considered when being placed into courses but I do know that I was never very good in math. My score on the Math regents was a 75 out a 100 and I really don’t believe I did any better on the exam I had to take upon enrolling in college.
       Tougher graduation standards are exactly what are needed for students to graduate prepared for college. Not that it will necessarily motivate students to work harder, but they will have no choice. With no second chances or “lee-way” students will be forced to better themselves. The High School system will be forced to improve and teach at a college level or at least the level of community college. From what I’ve heard credibility and standards of colleges do vary. Also I’ve heard rumors of the state creating an actual 13th and 14th grade. This is ridiculous our students don't need more time we need more education, a better education.
I do believe students will be more likely to persist if they have the option to choose at least one of the Regents exams they must pass to graduate. I feel that the regent exams were pointless. Passing the regents with at least a 65 was another unnecessary goal of high school classes besides preparing students for college level work. Also a score of 55 out of 100 was passing so that a student wouldn’t have to take the exam or class over. My regent scores were 69, 75, 77, 84, and 70. Each scored out 100 percent, and I was awarded a regents diploma. Which I feel means nothing, based on my grades in the classes. Given the opportunity to only take one Regents will eliminate the stress on that matter and focus the students and faculty on what is
more important.

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