Remedial Education

A disturbing trend over the past fifteen years is costing states millions of dollars and potentially providing an excuse for failure. Remedial education in core subjects such as reading and math for recent high school graduates who are entering college is becoming very common. Anywhere from 25-70% (depending on which study you review) of high school graduates entering a university need to take remedial classes. The State of Florida spends an astounding $71 million a year to teach students entering college things they should have mastered in high school.

This is a disservice to our youth. Students should know the information that is required of them or not pass their senior year of high school. School systems should align their standards to include real college prep classes that actually prepare students for the rigors of college upon their graduation. At the very least students should be taught how to learn, so that if they are struggling in a particular subject they can take the initiative to learn or seek tutoring to get up to par.

Colleges and Universities around the nation are beginning to stop accepting students that cannot work at a minimum level. They are telling students to go to their community college for a year or two to get their basic skill levels up and then re-apply to the college after that time. This could have long-term negative effects upon the number of students who actually graduate from college with a four year degree-which is only a dismal 25-28% of the American population. In addition, it may unintentionally exclude low-income and minority youth that may not have had the opportunity to attend an academically challenging school. Yet I understand the position of universities that are putting these restrictions in place. They need to teach college level classes, not high school level, and I applaud them for not lowering their standards, but requiring a reasonable level of knowledge.