Monday, September 15, 2008

No Child Left Learned

You can go anywhere and read about Sarah Palin, you poor things. And Lehman Brothers, though I will say one thing before moving on to Important Stuff that gets shoved to the bottom of the media pile: YES! Let them all burn in their self-made hell. And may the hellfires that surround them be made of money.

On to Education, a subject you know is near and dear to my battle-scarred veteran educator's heart. This morning I heard on the radio that one-third of our nation's college students are not prepared for college when they enter, and have to take remedial courses. But, hey, the other 2 out of 3 are ready, whatever that actually means. Really, think of it: All these people are accepted; what kind of gap does this suggest in the application and enrollment process in the first place?

From The San Francisco Chronicle:
Study: Remedial college classes cost billions
Justin Pope, Associated Press
Monday, September 15, 2008

It's a tough lesson for millions of students just now arriving on campus: Even if you have a high school diploma, you may not be ready for college.

In fact, a new study calculates, one-third of American college students have to enroll in remedial classes. The bill to colleges and taxpayers for trying to bring them up to speed on material they were supposed to learn in high school comes to between $2.3 billion and $2.9 billion annually...

...Analyzing federal data, the report estimates 43 percent of community college students require remedial classes, as do 29 percent of students at public four-year universities, with higher numbers in some places. For instance, 4 in 5 Oklahoma community college students need remedial coursework, and 3 in 5 in the giant California State University system need help in English, math or both.

The cost per student runs to as much as $2,000 per student in community colleges and $2,500 in four-year universities.

It's true that only recently have K-12 and higher education begun talking seriously about aligning standards. But (former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer, chair of the group Strong American Schools), who has also headed the Los Angeles Unified School District, doesn't buy that it's a communication problem.

"We're not expecting enough of our youngsters and the institutions that train them," he said.

Really? But don't ask me; remember my certifications lapsed, and despite the fact that in the meantime I had been teaching college level courses at both a community college and a four-year public university, I am no longer qualified to teach our high school students.

However, there is good news:

No Child Left Inside Act of 2008 - H.R.3036
The House is also scheduled to vote on this bill intended to get more children to participate in outdoor activities.

This could mean that computer screens will be improved so that people can actually see what's in front of them outside in the daylight? Hooray!

(Photo credit: fast4ward_eelieyz @

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