It should not be a surprise to anyone that graduation rates in the city's two year colleges is falling. Colleges have standards. High schools do not. To pass a class in college, a student has to show mastery of the subject. There is no boot camp, or credit recovery classes. Students can't just answer 100 questions online and make up all the work they didn't do during the semester. There is no extra credit or second chances. High school students know the schools will do everything to get them to graduate. No matter how poor their grades are, they understand that the school's standing and their teacher's job depend upon their passing and pass they will. No principal wants his school closed.
I fear this new push to improve graduation rates will have the colleges lowering standards as well and soon the college diploma will be as meaningless as one from high school. Schools like John Jay, York, and Hostos cater to a different type of student than schools like Baruch and NYU. But, what all these schools have in common is that their degrees mean something. I teach at a community college. While it might be easy to get in, it is not easy to get out. Anyone who graduates from this school as well as from York or John Jay or any other CUNY has gotten a first class education and a degree that means they have learned their stuff.