How open admissions has turned colleges into high schools
College students, American-style: A remedial
math class at LaGuardia Community College
About three-quarters of the 17,500 freshmen at the community colleges this year have needed remedial instruction in reading, writing or math, and nearly a quarter of the freshmen have required such instruction in all three subjects. In the past five years, a subset of students deemed “triple low remedial”—with the most severe deficits in all three subjects—has doubled, to 1,000.And now let’s also remember that President Obama has made it a top priority that every young person in America go to college. Which means that the nation’s colleges will increasingly become high schools—or, rather, will increasingly become remedial classes for people unable to do high school work.
Nik S. writes:
While many people look at the historical numbers of Americans attending college and say, “It is great that so many Americans are going to college these days,” of course these statistics belie the reality. With so much money being spent on “special needs” and “under-privileged” students, the fact is that the best and brightest are actually getting less attention than people with sub-80 IQs—students who will never have any real chance of making an impact in academia or benefiting from it to a substantial degree. So the unsaid agenda is to make smart people dumber in the name of equality.Thomas Bertonneau writes:
Regarding the photograph that accompanies the VFR entry on “how open admissions have turned colleges into high schools”—the scene is a familiar one. The postures, sartorial habits, and facial expressions of the students are also familiar. The facial expressions bespeak boredom, non-engagement, and a kind of alienation from the context. Only the bespectacled kid in center frame shows interest in the lesson, but even he gives off a touchy, chip-on-the-shoulder vibe. Notice the hats and head-coverings worn indoors; a friend who has also been a college professor says that the backwards baseball hat is a sign of actual stupidity, and far be it from me to disagree with him. One encounters these behaviors not only in open-admissions community colleges, but pretty much everywhere in higher education. Not that there are no properly prepared or serious students, but they are certainly only a minority, part of whose burden is to endure and overcome the demoralizing atmosphere created by the scowling, slouching, resentful reaction to intellectual discipline that the photograph eloquently but depressingly witnesses.Mark Jaws writes:
I just happen to know a little about the erosion of standards at City University, having attended City College from 1972 to 1976. First of all, I noticed in my freshman calculus class that the majority of students could not make it through. Those who did make it through were overwhelmingly white and Asian. In 1975 I tutored several nursing students in math. There was one black co-ed who could not—I say could not—add fractions (e.g., 1/2 + 3/8). That is when I realized that City College’s liberal policy of open admissions was a failure.LA replies:
We’ve been repeatedly told by mainstream media that black 17 year olds are four years behind whites in math abilities (as well as in reading abilities). It would be interesting make that datum more specific and find out, for example, what percentage of black high school seniors in the U.S. can add fractions with different denominators, as compared with whites and Asians.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 05, 2011 01:18 PM | Send