By Stan Brooks In Memoriam

NEW YORK (AP) — The City University of New York and IBM will open a unique school that merges high school with two years of college, allowing students to earn an associate’s degree, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday in announcing a series of ambitious educational initiatives.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports
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Those students will be “first in line for a job at IBM,” Bloomberg said in his announcement, made on MSNBC.

The city also will move to a rating system this year designed to ensure teacher tenure is linked to classroom performance. Only teachers rated ‘effective” or “highly effective” will be awarded lifetime job protection, the mayor said.

Bloomberg said the city will use a $36 million federal grant to enlist highly skilled teachers to work in low-performing schools and mentor fellow instructors.

‘New York City is … laying the foundation to ensure that every child who graduates high school is ready to start college or a career,” Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said the city will work with the state to end so-called “seat time,” which requires all students to spend certain number of hours in their seats on every subject even if they have already mastered the subject. It will also endeavor to change a state law that requires schools to buy printed textbooks rather than digital content.

“That may be good for the business textbook industry but it’s really a bad deal for our students in this day and age,” Bloomberg said.

Earlier Monday, Mayor Cory Booker said about $40 million has been raised so far to match the $100 million donation to Newark’s school system from Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Booker appeared in Manhattan with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Zuckerberg at NBC News’ “Education Nation” Summit.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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