Morning Buzz | Ill Prepared for College

You may want to take an umbrella, and even snow boots: Tuesday will start cloudy and drizzly and may end with snow, with highs around 40.

New York State education officials released a new set of graduation statistics on Monday that show that fewer than half of the students in the state are leaving high school prepared for college and high-paying careers.

The new statistics, part of a push to realign state standards with college performance, show that only 23 percent of students in New York City graduated ready for college or careers in 2009, not counting special-education students. That is well under half the current graduation rate of 64 percent, a number often promoted by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as evidence that his education policies are working.

But New York City is still doing better than the state’s other large urban districts. In Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers, fewer than 17 percent of students met the proposed standards, including just 5 percent in Rochester. The Board of Regents, which sets the state’s education policies, met on Monday to begin discussing what to do with this data, and will probably issue a decision in March. [NYT] (Also see The Wall Street Journal.)


Mayor Bloomberg pushed state legislators to repeal the “last in, first out” law, which removes teachers based on seniority. [New York Post]


One the only positive aspects of the miserable string of winter storms that have buffeted the city, the lengthy suspension of alternate-side, ended on Monday. [NYT] New Yorkers had to move their cars for the balletic midday spot exchange, some resorting to desperate measures to free cars still trapped in ice and snow and some reportedly ticketed before plows even arrived. (Also see The New York Post.)

New Jersey’s two senators, Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, both Democrats, lined up with Amtrak officials on Monday to unveil their plan for a new rail link between New Jersey and New York City after Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey halted construction on New Jersey Transit’s tunnel under the Hudson River last year. [NYT] (Also see The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post.)

An Amtrak train derailed in Queens on Monday, delaying evening commuters. [Daily News]

Crime & Public Safety

For the third time, Selwyn Days is on trial for a double murder in Westchester County. His first trial, in 2003, ended in a hung jury. He was convicted after a retrial the next year. But a judge overturned that conviction in 2009, citing the failure of Mr. Days’s lawyer at the time to pursue alibi and DNA evidence, and on Monday opening statements were delivered in his third trial. [NYT]

The trial began for two men accused of staging a robbery in their own jewelry store to defraud the insurance company Lloyd’s of London of $7 million. [NYT]

Two people died when a jewelry store robbery turned into a murder-suicide on Monday afternoon in central New Jersey. [NYT]

The Hells Angels, the motorcycle club that once stomped Hunter S. Thompson, is having problems intimidating tourists at their East Village headquarters. [New York Post] They have installed a bar on a bench outside as a deterrent to weary tourists who have taken to roosting there.

Housing & Economy

Much of Hoboken’s beloved waterfront has fallen into disrepair, and in the last few weeks, the cost estimate for repairs rose by millions of dollars that the city does not have. Yet these are not ancient structures: most were built in the 1990s, and in some cases neglected maintenance and unheeded warnings may have made matters worse. [NYT]

Some apartment sellers, like Emily Huters and her husband, Trey Hatch, are so tired of the hassle of readying and vacating their apartment for weekly open houses that they accepted an offer lower than what their broker thought they could get. Christine Haughney discusses their decision and more in the Appraisal column.

The current financial imbroglio surrounding the Mets makes the name of their stadium, Citi Field, even more distasteful to fans who would perhaps enjoy their baseball without the taint of financial malfeasance, Clyde Haberman writes in the NYC column. What was wrong with Shea, anyway?

People & Neighborhoods

A workshop exploring war and its psychological aftermath is a unique solace for veterans like Scott Schumacher trying to readjust to life stateside after their experiences in the wars. [NYT]

Troubled Musicals, Reviewed

At last, The Times has officially reviewed “Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark!” The verdict for the injury-plagued production? “Only when things go wrong in this production does it feel remotely right,” Ben Brantley writes in his review. (Also see The Daily News and The New York Post.)

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