Do remedial classes belong in college?
Ah, more fodder for the racists, and as usual, there is plenty to be found at Inside Higher Ed. Recent comments about the preponderance of people of a skin color other than white in the remedial courses have many submitting comments up in arms about whether or not the courses should even be allowed at universities. Burnt Out Adjunct also comments on this story, and his comments are valuable as well. But, here is my take:
In an age where the Obama admin has decided to track children by their test scores, I find the arguments against remedial education particularly disturbing. Are we saying that anyone who can take a test can get into college and should be there? Skin color seems to be the dominant topic here, but no one talks about how the tests are culturally biased when children start school. Has anyone who has posted ever viewed an IQ test? Have you ever read or graded any of these so-called standardized tests? I have done both, as well as administering them, and I can tell you the test is not the gold standard. I had students who were solid C’s all the way through graduate faster than the quick but unstable A student, and I don’t even need to mention skin color here. By the same token, I have taught college-level remedial courses, and is everyone out there so stingy as to not allow some people this little bit to get by? I can tell you that watching some of these classes, it takes a truly dedicated individual to pass those courses with some of the “helpful ministrations” of well-meaning but derogatory staff. On the other hand, remedial ed creates jobs for teachers, opportunities for students, and doesn’t affect anyone in tenure. Why are all of you so selfish about it?
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