During his most recent State of the City address, New York CityMayor Michael Bloomberg hyped about the large investment the cityhas made on education – a multi-billion dollar investment thatseems to have done little to help the city’s teens.Critics pointed out that just 13 percent of black and Latinostudents graduate from New York City schools with the skillsrequired for community college – and overall, 80 percent of allgraduates lack these skills.“He will be remembered as the Mayor of Education Failure, andhis final speech ignored that reality. He has harmed ourcommunities and families, and we cannot wait to see a new mayorreplace him,” parent Zakiyah Ansari of New Yorkers for GreatPublic Schools told the New York Daily News.The number of students who lack crucial reading, writing andmath skills is the highest it has been in years, CBS 2 reports.Officials from City University told the news station that 79.3percent of graduates, or 10,700 students, who arrived to take atest to get into community college last year failed and wererequired to relearn basic skills that should have been taught inhigh school. This is a sharp increase from the 71.4 percent whowere lacking the skills in 2007.With such a high number of uneducated students, City Universityhas launched a program to help struggling high school grads. Calledthe CUNY Start, the program provides cheap immersion classes thathelp New York teens catch up with those who are prepared forcollege.“They get lost sometimes in the classroom and in CUNY Startwe give them a lot more one-on-one attention, small groupwork,” Sherry Mason, who teaches a writing class, told CBS.“It helps them achieve more in a short amount of time and sothey’re able to get on with their credit classes.”But students who are forced to shell out $1,000 or more forcourses that bear no college credit are disappointed that theirhigh schools failed to prepare them for college.“The basics that I’m receiving now should have been taught inhigh school,” Feona Wilson, a high school graduate fromBrooklyn, told the New York Post. “It’s more money coming out ofyour pocket.”Despite efforts by lawmakers to improve high school education,the US still lags in comparison to other developed countries. In2012, the US placed 17thin the developed world foreducation, according to a report by Pearson. Finland and SouthKorea topped the lost of 40 countries. But when it comes to math,Americans are in the bottom half, with US students ranking25thout of developing countries.Experts have warned that American students’ comparativelyaverage to low performance could threaten the country’s futureeconomic growth. And with 80 percent of New York’s high schoolgraduates unprepared for community college, Bloomberg’s largeeducation investments appears to have been ineffectively used.
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