Approximately 80 percent of NYC high school grads can’t read well enough for community college

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has built quite a legacy for himself cracking down on soda, salt and, just the other day, loud ear buds.

Nevertheless, as CBS New York reports, Bloomberg might want to spare a few minutes to focus on this shocking statistic: Almost 80 percent of all New York City high school graduates who want to enroll in the City University’s community college system must first relearn basic reading, writing and math.

All told, approximately 11,000 would-be students are required to take remedial courses each year.

The problem has gotten so bad and institutionalized that City University system officials have introduced a program called CUNY Start that provides inexpensive immersion classes for students who managed to graduate high school without mastering basic skills.

“They get lost sometimes in the classroom and in CUNY Start we give them a lot more one-on-one attention, small group work,” Sherry Mason, a teacher in the program, told CBS Local. “It helps them achieve more in a short amount of time and so they’re able to get on with their credit classes.”

A student in the remedial skills program told CBS Local he was very happy with it.

“I knew I needed to take remedial,” said Nicholas Gonzalez, who graduated from Brooklyn’s New Utrecht High School. “If I started right away with credit classes it wasn’t going to be so well, so it’s better off starting somewhere.”

The New York City Department of Education noted that the percentage of students requiring remedial courses used to be even higher, and has only slightly decreased in recent years.

While nearly 80 percent of students who graduate from New York Public Schools can’t read well enough to attend community college, they can at least frolic in all the unprotected sex they want without fretting over the natural consequences.

The Bloomberg administration used 40 individual “school-based health centers” to lavish nearly 13,000 free doses of Plan B — the “morning-after pill” — on students during the 2011-12 school year.

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