Tuesday, April 01, 2008

NYC High Schoolers Among Slowest to Graduate

040108studentsplayingboggle.jpgA study conducted by the non-profit group America's Promise Alliance has found that New York City has one of the nation's worst high school graduation rates, ranking 43rd among 50 other major U.S. cities and their surrounding areas. Only 45% of high school students in New York City graduate in four years, while in the surrounding suburbs, the four year graduation rate is 83%

But the study was conducted using data from 2004, and the Department of Education claims the city's graduation rate has risen six points since then. Also, each state has different educational standards, so comparisons can be a bit misleading. Still, who will be surprised that poor Detroit, which can't catch a break, would get the worst ranking, with just 25% of students graduating? At least New York students bested, in order, Dallas, Minneapolis, Columbus, Baltimore, Cleveland and Indianapolis. L.A. students managed to flirt their way past New York by 0.1% and snag the #42 slot. Number One? Mesa, AZ.

The report, which concludes that, on average, only half of the students in America’s major cities graduate, can be perused as a PDF file. And the America's Promise Alliance website is introduced by a really weird Colin Powell video, presumably because he did such a stellar job educating the U.N. about Iraq’s WMDs.

Photo of NYC students playing Boggle: Los Dragónnes

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Campaign for Summer Jobs -- United Neighborhood Houses - Advocacy

Since 1999, UNH has co-lead the Campaign for Summer Jobs along with the Neighborhood Family Services Coalition. The Campaign seeks to secure permanent funding for a summer employment program for youth in New York City to help them gain work experience and contribute to their communities. For the past 9 years, youth and youth workers from all over the City have joined in this effort, participating in the Campaign's Annual Youth Action Day.Even with the Campaign's past success, we must continue to work to make certain that this valuable program is adequately funded in the future. Although $56 million in government funding made it possible for nearly 42,000 young people in New York City to have a summer job in 2007, 93,000 youth applied. This year, the City budget includes a $3.2 million cut to the summer jobs program, eliminating 2,100 jobs for young people. The Campaign's goal is to see that every youth who wants a summer job will have one.
United Neighborhood Houses - Advocacy
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City Limits: News for NYC's Nonprofit, Policy and Activist World

With long summer days around the corner, it looks like tens of thousands of New York City youths who rely on public programs to help find a job may be idle while school's out.City agencies expect a shortfall in jobs provided by the city's Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Run by the Department of Youth and Community Development, SYEP provides subsidized entry-level jobs to young people aged 14 to 21 for seven weeks every summer. Each year tens of thousands of applicants are turned away, but last summer the number of applicants hit a record high – and the forecast for this summer is dreary.
City Limits: News for NYC's Nonprofit, Policy and Activist World
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According to the NYC Department of Education

"This year, 7,722 students – less than 10% of all students who applied – did not have a match after the main round. The DOE will conduct an information fair for these students on April 7 and April 8 at Louis D. Brandeis High School (145 West 84th St., Manhattan). Students who participate in the supplementary round will receive their high school match by April 30."

So if you were not accepted to any of your choices please make sure to attend the information fair on April 7, 2008.

Editor's note: Students selected twelve (12) schools in order of preference...well according to DOE 80% of students were accepted to one of their five top choices....is this really good news....how happy would you be if you were selected to attend your third, fourth or fifth choice?

From NY metro -- Voices: School selection process still a mess

my view by Neil de Mause

MAR 31

It’s springtime, and the streets are filled with the sound of parents of 4- and 5-year-olds freaking out. This is normal behavior for March, when city parents traditionally bum-rush the schools of their choices and try by hook or by crook (or, according to persistent urban legend, gift of cookies) to get their kids to the front of the line. This year, though, the stress level is up a notch, thanks to a new application process: Parents of pre-Ks (and next year, kindergarteners as well) must send a form off to a central office — oddly, in Pennsylvania — and will later be notified where they’re placed. As Schools Chancellor Joel Klein explained, the goal is to “replace the numerous rules and timelines with a single, simple, fair process.”Fairer it may be — if nothing else, it’s hard to fit cookies into a P.O. Box. But simple? The form says kids will be admitted by a set priority list: siblings of existing students, then kids within a school’s zone and so on, untilresidents of New Zealand make up the back of the line. Sharp-eyed parents, however, will notice that they’re also asked to rank their top five schools. At last word, city officials said they’d first pick from the list of those ranking a school No. 1 — meaning our New Zealander could actually get in ahead of someone who lives across the street, if they ranked the school higher. Asked what would happen if a student ended up getting into none of their five choices, meanwhile, a schools spokesperson said he’d have to get back to me on that, then never did.The new admission process for gifted-and-talented programs is shaping up to be similarly wacktastic: After testing kids in January — part of the new regime of standardized tests that the city is spending millions on while slashing budgets elsewhere — the Department of Education won’t decide until May where in each district the gifted and talented classes will be located. (Will there be buses? No one knows.) And that’s if they even know by then how many kids qualify for the program; last week, at least one school told parents that test results, originally due in March, now wouldn’t be in until May 16.Of course, it wouldn’t be the New York City school system without some Keystone Kops bureaucracy. But if the chancellor’s new rules mean that June rolls around with parents still in limbo, it’s likely to be a long, hot summer.

NTYNeil deMause is a Brooklyn-based journalist whose writings can be found at demause.net and fieldofschemes.com.
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After-School Programs - New York Times

To the Editor:Earlier this year, education advocates celebrated a historic increase in this year’s federal financing for 21st Century Community Learning Center that gave approximately 100,000 youth the opportunity to participate in enriching after-school programs. One month later, President Bush called for Congress to cut financing for 21st C.C.L.C. from $1.1 billion to just $800 million in his 2009 budget proposal, a cut that would leave 300,000 youth without such opportunities.
After-School Programs - New York Times
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Monday, March 31, 2008

LACASAS Kids Cash In On Financial Literacy

On Friday, March 28th... 20 fifth grade students from PS 84 and other local elementary schools learned a lot about banking and writing checks from representatives of Commerce Bank. Chi and Florence from the 86th Street and Columbus Avenue branch of Commerce Bank schooled LACASA Kids on how to convert their change into dollar bills using Commerce's Penny Arcade and the benefits of opening a savings account. LACASA Kids also learned banking terms such as: endorsement, payee, deposit, credit and debit. They went on to practice check writing and maintaining a check register....

Maia said she was ready to help her mother write all the checks to pay the household bills!

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