Public School Parents Deliver 1,000-Signature Petition Demanding Mayor de Blasio Apologize for College-Readiness Failures

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE** FEBRUARY 17, 2017

Public School Parents Deliver 1,000-Signature Petition Demanding Mayor de Blasio Apologize for College-Readiness Failures

Following Revelation that 63% of High School Seniors are Not Prepared to Attend College, Mayor Asserts that NYC Kids Don’t Need Higher Education

New York, NY – On Friday afternoon, public school parents delivered a petition over 1,000 signatures long to Mayor de Blasio demanding he apologize to the thousands of city students whom he has failed to prepare for college. The petition also called on the de Blasio administration to implement reforms that would raise New York City’s college readiness rate, which currently sits at just 37.2%.

Last Friday, the release of new state data revealed that about 63% of high school seniors across New York City are not prepared to attend college. When asked about the college readiness statistic by a reporter, Mayor de Blasio communicated to parents and the public that children didn’t need to pursue higher education, stating “High school graduation… is a goal unto itself… For a lot of young people, that may be the end of their education; they can still go forward with a high school degree and find good opportunities.”

Countless studies have shown that a college degree is essential in today’s economy. On average, individuals who graduate from college make a million dollars more in the course of their lifetimes than those who end their education after receiving a high school diploma.

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“Mayor de Blasio owes New York City’s hard-working students an apology,” said Marilyn Askew, a public school parent from Brooklyn. “His policies have already made it harder for thousands of kids to access higher education, and his words could discourage thousands more from pursuing their college dreams.”

“Because Mayor de Blasio has failed to get students ready for college, he’s decided they simply don’t need to go,” said Sharita Moore-Willis, a public school parent from the Bronx. “This isn’t the message that the leader of New York City should be sending our children, and it isn’t the future I want for my daughter.”

“The fact that two out of every three students leave high school unprepared for college is unacceptable,” said Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of Families for Excellent Schools. “Just as upsetting is the fact that Mayor de Blasio appears to have given up on students going to college at all.”

The full text of the petition is below:

Dear Mayor de Blasio,

No one disputes the fact that a college degree is vital to success and equal opportunity in today’s economy.

And yet last week, you told NYC parents that a high school education was good enough for their kids, saying: “High school graduation… is a goal unto itself… For a lot of young people, that may be the end of their education; they can still go forward with a high school degree and find good opportunities.”

While your comments are out of touch, what’s even worse is that 63 percent of high school seniors in New York City are not prepared for college on your watch.

Parents and kids know these numbers are unacceptable, but your comments prove that you believe only some kids can go to college and are unwilling to do what it takes to end the Tale of Two School Systems.

We demand that you apologize to the thousands of children you failed to prepare for college and to prioritize reforms so that every NYC student has the chance to get a higher degree.

Thank you.

Signed,
Concerned New Yorkers

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