Remedial reforms face resistance

Community colleges are reforming — or abolishing — remedial education, but some think remedial reforms have gone too far. They fear many students will be placed in college-level courses they can’t handle, while the least-prepared will be shut out of college programs and sent to adult ed.

A Pennsylvania community college has persuaded a local high school to teach the college’s remedial math and English courses to 12th graders. Ninety-two percent  of the high school’s community college-bound graduates place into remedial reading and 100 percent place into remedial math, often at the lowest levels.

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  1. So, the buck stops where?

    Are the students paying for these remedial classes while the high school uses their tax money to provide a room and bussing?

  2. Perhaps someone could be honest with these students and tell them.

    I’m sorry, but given the results of placement exams, and previous scores, you won’t make it past the first year at our community college.

    Studies have shown that students who need to take 2 (or more) remedial courses in college, usually don’t make it past the first year, and usually wind up with a pile of debt with nothing to show for it.

  3. Trying to take college-level math classes (with which I am most familiar) without adequate preparation is a disaster. But it’s not the college’s fault if students come to them unprepared. The disaster needs to be laid at the feet of those who caused it – the high schools.

    (The only possible exception that I can think of is the scenario in which an adult goes back to school after being out in the work world (or taking care of the kids) for several years. Then there’s an understandable reason for being rusty. These adult students would still have to brush up enough to bring them up to speed, though, if they are to have any hope of completing their degree or certificate.)

    The kids that go directly from high school to college don’t have this excuse. Either their high school let them down, or they were goofing around for four years, or possibly both.

    Either way, the taxpayers shouldn’t have to be “double-billed,” so to speak, for the remedial classes to fill in the gaps that the high school kids shouldn’t have in the first place, if a high school diploma is supposed to actually mean anything. Any other business would be busted for fraud if they pulled this crap even once, let alone on an ongoing basis.