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Facing the 'real world': report finds NYS students unprepared

j.o.h.n. walker
via Flickr
An NYS education report reveals that high school gradation rates are up - but more diplomas doesn't mean more students are prepared for the future.

More students are graduating from New York’s high schools than ever before, but according to a report out this week from the State Education Department, few of them are ready for what’s next – whether that’s work or college.

Scott Waldman reports for the Times-Union:

A new measurement of student achievement shows a significant difference in the graduation rates of virtually every district in the state and the number of their students who have the necessary academic skills for life after high school. Just one out of every three New York students is actually academically prepared for life after high school.

Dollars still flowing to higher-ed

Despite that bleak assessment, the business of higher education isn’t slowing down anytime soon. This afternoon, SUNY Albany is breaking ground on a new $64 million business school.

Binghamton University also got some good news recently. Talia Emm reports for Gannett that the school got a high national ranking from Investor’s Business Daily (IBD), citing the return students get on their educational investment:

IBD looked at net pay 30 years after earning a bachelor’s degree, beyond what it cost for the degrees. According to data compiled by PayScale, the cost (as of 2010) to complete a degree at BU totaled $73,700, with graduates earning an average $712,300 net income after 30 years. This gives Binghamton grads an average of 12.5 percent return on investment, according to IBD.

Manufacturing lags, so does optimism

In business news, the state’s manufacturing index fell sharply this month, according to a new report out from the Federal Reserve, which Eric Anderson covered for the Times Union:

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey found conditions for manufacturers in New York state deteriorated sharply in June, with the general business conditions index falling below zero for the first time since November 2010.

Small businesses across the country are still suffering from a lack of optimism, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Jonathan Epstein of the Buffalo News is reporting that HSBC is still seeking to sell both its U.S. credit card unit and its network of upstate New York branches:

HSBC last month unveiled a new global strategy and effort to boost flagging profits by slashing up to $3.5 billion in costs and refocusing on the most profitable businesses and countries. It put its U. S. card unit and its upstate New York retail branch network under review for a possible sale...

Speaking of credit cards, starting today, you can use them to pay for parking at Albany’s new solar-powered, multi-lingual meters.