Remediating remedial ed

Remedial college classes are dead ends for most students — at a cost of $3 billion a year.

What’s your least favorite buzzword at the faculty meeting?

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  1. Well, remedial education is pointless for many students, due to the fact that they aren’t able to actually do the work, due to the lack of proper education in high school.

    Perhaps if the students were to actually apply themselves starting in middle school, and that schools would actually start issuing grades based on actual knowledge, as opposed to making students feel good, then the level of remediation wouldn’t be as high as it is.

    I’m in favor of eliminating all remedial education at any 4 year college, and based on SAT/ACT/placement exam results, simply telling a prospective student:

    I’m sorry, based on your test scores, you’re simply NOT ready for college level coursework, and I would suggest some private tutoring or time in a library going over the material which should have been mastered in middle/high school.

    • MS is too late; kids must establish solid foundational knowledge in math, reading, grammar, composition and all of the disciplines in ES or they will be unable to master more and more complex material in MS and HS. To enable the pretense of equal academic outcomes, irrespective of wide student differences in ability and/or motivation, schools have adopted weak or flawed curricula and ineffective instructional methods. (They have also failed to remove disruptive students) Since mastery of any knowledge and skills is not demanded, it is possible to pretend that ALL are succeeding. MS and HS are doing the same thing – so able and hardworking kids, who could have and should have acquired a real education, discover as seniors (or later) that they have been living in a Potemkin village for the last 12 years.

  2. Momof4,

    I would agree completely…If a student doesn’t master the basics by the time they leave elementary school, they’re pretty much sunk (and I mean learning the old fashioned way in math, reading, and writing).

    Unfortunately, I don’t see the trend leaving anytime soon….


  3. therese says:

    Whatever happened to second chances and late bloomers! A lot of kids don’t mature until later and then realize what they need to succeed. Then we’ll be just like the rest of the world where they have you pigeon holed for a specific career by age 12 with no chance to change course. A friend of mine was getting D’s in my freshman year Algebra class – he didn’t get it. By freshman year in college, he was a math major.

    • Ponderosa says:

      @therese: I think math skills can be acquired more quickly than the broad general knowledge one needs to be a decent reader and writer. College level history, literature and philosophy will be deadly for a kid who learned little in K-12. Also much college work is BS these days; so success there does not necessarily mean real competence.

      As the school year comes to a close, I’m reminded of the truth in Momof4’s remarks about MS already being too late. So many of my seventh graders are already over their heads –they are in my history class at least. They’re already sunk. Part of the problem is simply lack of motivation. But part is total confusion –they just don’t seem to be grasping much of what I or the video is saying (and even less of what they read). I know if I slowed down I could reach more of them, but then I wouldn’t cover the myriad topics I’m supposed to hit in CA seventh grade. I could simplify things even more, but then I’d be veering close to fourth grade level (I already do a lot of simplifying –much more than I should have to, I feel). For next year I’m tempted to give super-dumbed down whole class lessons and assign more advanced book work for the better students. A fresh crop of impoverished minds awaits me!