When college students can’t read the textbook

A Michigan community college is teaching English, math and biology instructors how to teach reading so students can understand their textbooks.

Also on Community College Spotlight: It’s time to end late registration.

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  1. Presumably, the student’s higher order thinking skills are just peachy that capability being of critical importance and they can enjoy the meaning of the books they can’t read.

  2. Ummm, my solution, tell these students to leave, and come back when they actually learn to read, write, and handle math at a college level.

    Give them full refunds, and refuse to admit them…period…

    Why must schools admit persons who are clearly unprepared for college work?


    • palisadesk says:

      Why must schools admit persons who are clearly unprepared for college work?

      For the $$$$$$.

      Several people in local community college administration have told me they expect 40% of the entering class to fail the first year. Why admit them, when they were certain the students would fail? Because the schools need the tuition fees and relevant government grants. Faculty are pressured to give low, but passing, marks to such students until such time in the year as they cannot get their tuition payments back.

      Might not be true everywhere of course, but I suspect money is a driving factor in the increase in college enrollments, including enrollment of the unprepared. At some point the bubble will burst, as with mortgages/housing.

      • Katie Jones says:

        Wow, this is sad. Makes you wonder what kind of SAT scores these students got.

        • You need to wonder?

          And no, money isn’t the main driving factor. Any school that tried to ban students who weren’t at a certain level of ability would be hit by a disparate impact lawsuit, assuming that the mere outrage wouldn’t get them there first.

          Simply by requiring an SAT score of 500 or higher per section would render 80% of blacks and 70% of Hispanics ineligible.

          • I wonder how much knowing the standards will be lowered for them affects the academic work ethic of blacks and Hispanics. I know that black classmates of my sons’ admitted that they didn’t have to take the APs the whites and Asians did. This was in a high-performing suburban school, which sent many kids to Ivies and other elites and many more to other very competitive schools. I’m guessing the attitude exists at other academic levels, as well.

          • That’s insane. For a major University, either you have the grades to get in on the SAT and ACT, or you don’t. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re white, black, Asian, Native American, or pink-with-purple-polka-dots…

            When the rules aren’t equally applies to everyone, it guarantees future conflict, because someone is getting picked on, left out, or ripped off. It also guarantees that the quality of our Universities are going to go down.

            When Ronald Reagan was Governor of California, he wanted to instute a policy that grades alone got you into a major California University. “But,” one of his top advisors said (don’t remember his/her name), “If you do that, 90+% of all the major University students in California will be Asian.”

            Reagan’s response: “So?”

          • And, remember that anyone can start at the Community College level and work their way up, where everyone IS admitted… I once saw a Community College whose branding was, “It’s a good place to start… or to start over.” That’s a good philosophy for a Community College – but NOT a major University.

          • @Shang Tsung — this article IS referring to community college.

          • Shang Tsung wrote:

            “It shouldn’t matter whether you’re white, black, Asian, Native American, or pink-with-purple-polka-dots…”

            It shouldn’t and ultimately it doesn’t. Kids who can’t cut it get flushed and that’s that as far as the colleges are concerned. The tragedy is that kids who shouldn’t have been admitted to begin with but might have graduated from less demanding schools get stuck with mountains of debt and no degree.

            It’s sort of a perfect fraud in that encouragement of unrealistic expectations allows the colleges to fleece kids, and the tax payer, but unlike the perpetrators of Ponzi schemes, the colleges escape any consequences.

  3. Actually, during the 80’s defense buildup years, Ben Rich of Skunk Works fame was asked the following question:

    Mr. Rich, why aren’t you employing more Latino engineers (from a comm. activist).

    His response:

    Because they didn’t go to engineering school…

    A school which gets sued by students who don’t have the education to be admitted or that got dropped due to the inability to do the work shouldn’t be allowed in the US Legal System.

    I’m not talking about denying admission to QUALIFIED persons, but since when does a person who is UNQUALIFIED have any right to sue an institution due to the fact they flunked out or were just told the truth of:

    At the moment (sir/ma’am), you don’t have the academic skills to succeed in this institution, but please come back and apply when you do.

    Persons wanting to enter the military who can’t score high enough on the ASVAB (regardless of education) won’t be admitted…that’s not discrimination, that’s called standards.