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Urban Youth Collaborative reiterates college-readiness recommendations

A top priority for the next mayor must be to boost the “abysmal” college-readiness rates among black and Hispanic students, according to a citywide student group that rallied outside City Hall Tuesday.

The Urban Youth Collaborative released a policy paper during the rally that reiterates the group’s previous recommendations for how to close that college-readiness gap.

Just over 11 percent of black students and 12 percent of Hispanic students were prepared for college when they graduated high school last year, according to the state’s metric, which is based on the percentage of students who graduate in four years with a 75 on their English Regents exam and an 80 on their math exam. In contrast, about 39 percent of white students and almost 53 percent of Asian students met those benchmarks.

The Urban Youth Collaborative’s proposals include an early-warning system to catch struggling students, one college counselor for each 100 students at every high school, and an extension of a peer-support program that helps recent high-school graduates prepare to start college.

The coalition also recommends the next administration allow a maximum of 250 students per guidance counselor, fund personalized college-application guidance, and a launch school-by-school accounting of the college assistance currently available to students.

Department of Education spokesman Devon Puglia said in a statement that black and Hispanic students’ college-readiness rates have doubled since 2005, according to the city’s metric, which is based on the City University of New York’s admissions and remediation standards and on SAT scores.

He added that the number of black students who enrolled at the City University of New York has increased by 36 percent under the Bloomberg administration, while the number of Hispanic students increased 90 percent.

— Patrick Wall

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