Two pertinent examples of why we need education reform

Reply Mon 18 May, 2015 06:35 am
Two stories today on NPR that caught my attention. The first one featured a high ranking police officer taking the historical view on racial violence. The right might try to suppress the teaching of history but here was a man illustrating why we need history.
The second dealt with community college credits did not fully transfer to the University of Connecticut. Why should anyone think all credits should transfer?
Consider this: 30% of all college students are in remedial classes. I taught remedial classes at a community college that offered two levels each of remedial reading and writing, then a bridge class called English 100, prior to the traditional English 100 and 101.
As too many students were failing to pass the college level English sequence and were not graduating. The school's solution? To make the content of English 100, the content of English 101. In other words, to dumb down the curricula.
A remedial student reads at a level somewhere between 3rd and 7th grade. Is it reasonable to expect a person who at age 18 reads at the 3rd grade level to read at the 8th grade level -- the level at which today's college freshman reads -- after two semesters?
We have cut back on the reading load of English classes. It is difficult to talk to college freshmen because their vocabularies are too small.
Remember the police official I spoke of? He is a dying breed. No cop ten years from now will use his level of traditional thinking because none of them will be able to read that well and none will know sufficient history to reach that conclusion.
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