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Removing "remedial education" from college

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July 3, 2012 5:42:56 PM

I was going to post this in the Work and Education - College forum, but that is one funky forum.

A huge number of students going to college, especially community colleges, seem to need remedial education (source: my unskilled impressions from reading a bunch of newspapers). Well, remedial education is a drag on the resources of the colleges. The high schools should have done it.

But it would be totally unfair to lock out all the unfortunate students from substandard high schools from college. So, is there a better solution than having the colleges teach remedial alongside college material?

Colleges offering a remedial year between high school and college, which will at least improve the number of students in entry-level college courses who have the skills to understand the material? Remedial institutions? Sounds like a great idea at first, but I think that they would be bound to fail. If the high schools can't do it, why should these institutions have any more success?

And remediation is not just for those who attended poor schools, or ignored their schoolwork. (well, the latter set should not apply to college). There was once an introductory course in economics at Princeton University. After three days of supply-and-demand graphs, a well-educated student from a good high school, admitted to Princeton on merit, asked "I don't understand all these lines! What are all these lines you are drawing?"

The student had never seen a graph before. Not that I'm much better; I got lucky on the freshman-week tests at my alma mater and scraped by without having to take remedial writing. It shows, too - I still can't write a decent research paper. And I am a graduate of a fine college.
July 3, 2012 7:58:59 PM

I don't foresee this being a drag on resources so long as the students that require it are the ones that bear the entire cost of the education being provided.. If you require additional courses you pay for them..

..but that would make sense so I'm sure it doesn't work that way.
July 4, 2012 3:27:15 AM

WyomingKnott said:
I was going to post this in the Work and Education - College forum, but that is one funky forum.

A huge number of students going to college, especially community colleges, seem to need remedial education (source: my unskilled impressions from reading a bunch of newspapers). Well, remedial education is a drag on the resources of the colleges. The high schools should have done it.

But it would be totally unfair to lock out all the unfortunate students from substandard high schools from college. So, is there a better solution than having the colleges teach remedial alongside college material?

Colleges offering a remedial year between high school and college, which will at least improve the number of students in entry-level college courses who have the skills to understand the material? Remedial institutions? Sounds like a great idea at first, but I think that they would be bound to fail. If the high schools can't do it, why should these institutions have any more success?

And remediation is not just for those who attended poor schools, or ignored their schoolwork. (well, the latter set should not apply to college). There was once an introductory course in economics at Princeton University. After three days of supply-and-demand graphs, a well-educated student from a good high school, admitted to Princeton on merit, asked "I don't understand all these lines! What are all these lines you are drawing?"

The student had never seen a graph before. Not that I'm much better; I got lucky on the freshman-week tests at my alma mater and scraped by without having to take remedial writing. It shows, too - I still can't write a decent research paper. And I am a graduate of a fine college.
It is pathetic today that our students are number 17 in math and science today.College s should not offer remedial courses only high school today. It is a shame they are just pushing students through in the educational system.Some of them cannot even read!
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July 5, 2012 12:54:10 PM

musical marv said:
It is pathetic today that our students are number 17 in math and science today.College s should not offer remedial courses only high school today. It is a shame they are just pushing students through in the educational system.Some of them cannot even read!

True. But is that the fault of the students? Should they be punished for it? I think that this is both immoral and bad for our country. A million young adults with salable skills is better for the economy then a million illiterate unemployed. ( Begin sarcasm ) Unless the extreme conservatives see these million as the solution to illegal immigration - they will take all of the low-end jobs that illegal immigrants now fill. ( End sarcasm )

Yes, the high schools should prepare these kids. But they don't. So what should we do with these kids as they reach the age of eighteen? For some of them, remediation and vocational education could, I hope, both bring them better lives and revive American manufacturing. Others of them are probably capable of capturing Higgs bosons in a bottle, if we just gave them the proper tools.

My central point is that many of these kids are failed by the high schools or by their families. Instead of giving up on them, what would be a practical way to help them while not draining resources for those who did succeed in high school?

(any linguistic experts out there? I noticed that, in the previous sentence, I assigned blame to the schools for the failures and credit for success to the students. I suspect that this reveals a lot about irrational thought processes in my mind.)

EDIT: Marv, what kind of music? I used to play Baroque on the flute, before I was too busy working and raising a kid.
July 6, 2012 2:50:06 AM

WyomingKnott said:
True. But is that the fault of the students? Should they be punished for it? I think that this is both immoral and bad for our country. A million young adults with salable skills is better for the economy then a million illiterate unemployed. ( Begin sarcasm ) Unless the extreme conservatives see these million as the solution to illegal immigration - they will take all of the low-end jobs that illegal immigrants now fill. ( End sarcasm )

Yes, the high schools should prepare these kids. But they don't. So what should we do with these kids as they reach the age of eighteen? For some of them, remediation and vocational education could, I hope, both bring them better lives and revive American manufacturing. Others of them are probably capable of capturing Higgs bosons in a bottle, if we just gave them the proper tools.

My central point is that many of these kids are failed by the high schools or by their families. Instead of giving up on them, what would be a practical way to help them while not draining resources for those who did succeed in high school?

(any linguistic experts out there? I noticed that, in the previous sentence, I assigned blame to the schools for the failures and credit for success to the students. I suspect that this reveals a lot about irrational thought processes in my mind.)

EDIT: Marv, what kind of music? I used to play Baroque on the flute, before I was too busy working and raising a kid.
I love classical music all kinds especially beethoven Mozart and Tchaikovsky. I played clarinet years ago.I agree some families do not care about education especially the lower income group.This derives from parentage.
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