I read a statistic in my local paper the other day that really ticked me off. We have a dozen community colleges in our state, educating nearly 60 thousand students. But according to the study I read, 7 out of 10 take at least one remedial class in math, reading, or writing. 70%! We can argue the merits of offering remedial classes to college students but isn’t about time we stop looking for Band-Aids and start finding a cure for the disease? Education by its very definition is about preparation. It’s about refining skills and challenging young people to identify their interests, and providing them with the tools they need to realize their potential. Scream about cuts to public school budgets, understaffing, and lack of resources all you want, but basic skills, are just that, basic. And our public high schools just aren’t getting the job done.
High School graduates and Community College students are, or will become the backbone of America. Some will rise to great heights but the majority will fill the middle income jobs that keep factories going, support the clerical needs of the service sector, become the policeman and firefighters that keep us safe, and occupy the jobs that turn our economy.
In our quest to be the best, most technologically advanced nation on the planet, we tend to forget that what students may really need, starts with the ability to read, put sentences together, and simply know how to add, subtract, multiply and divide. 70% can’t do that effectively even though they earn a high school diploma! Maybe it’s time to go back to the basics.
What’s your opinion on this?