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Subject:

Re: Spam:****, Kicking the can down the road: Ohio to eliminate DE courses at 4-yr colleges

From:

"Valkenburg, James - Staff <[log in to unmask]>" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 13 Oct 2011 14:42:46 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (156 lines)

Whoa!

I'm sorry to put a kink in the discussion about how poorly developmental education serves math students.  At Delta College we see 75% success rates in our three developmental level math classes.  In the lowest level of developmental English we see a 60-65% success rate.  And this occurs on a regular basis, semester after semester.  

The changes in developmental educational requirements seems to be driven by fiscal considerations--and we should always be wary of decisions based solely on finances.  I know, I know, I'm Pollyanna.  But alternatives to developmental courses that help students gain the level of literacy or math skills needed to succeed at the college level are not successful, either.  Just how do the folks proposing to eliminate developmental reading propose to help students with a 4th grade reading level succeed in a Political Science course with a 13th grade 
Reading level text book.  Or, perhaps, traditional concepts of literacy are just overvalued and passe'.

We can liken some of the thinking to those who presuppose there is no digital divide.  We find that many, if not most, of the returning students are not computer savvy.  Many students coming out of school districts that are the hardest hit by the current recession are not computer savvy.  What do we do with those students?  Should we develop courses that will help them to become computer savvy, or should we let them flounder along the way and say "Well, they'll just have to find some way to learn this stuff on their own" and enroll them in technology heavy classes they are probably not prepared for?

Jim 


-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of bob
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 1:56 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Spam:****, Kicking the can down the road: Ohio to eliminate DE courses at 4-yr colleges

Always nice to hear from you David.

Ohio is taking a simplistic approach to the problem, but higher education
has been kicking this can down the road for the past 30 years.  Everybody
knows how unsuccessful math instruction has been, but almost everybody keeps
right on going down the same sorrowful path.

We need new instruction.  Specifically, we need to end the lecture system
for developmental math and find other ways to address the needs of these
students.  Until and unless we get our own houses in order then we will have
someone else forcing the action.

Bob


On 10/12/11 5:05 PM, "David Arendale" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Greetings,
> 
> I just read an article in the Hamilton Journal-News that by 2015
> nearly all remedial (also called developmental level) courses would be
> eliminated at public four-year colleges in Ohio. "The nearly 40
> percent of college freshmen in Ohio who are not ready for
> college-level work will take most of their remedial courses at
> community colleges under a statewide plan that dramatically changes
> how four-year schools provide instruction to those needing extra
> help." The newspaper reporter stated, "Ohio is following a national
> trend that critics say could limit access to the four-year degrees
> many need for high-paying jobs. Some fear it may discourage some
> students from attending college at all." State education leaders, at
> least those at the four-year institutions, said the long-term solution
> was for elementary and secondary education to do a better job. "By the
> end of 2012, university and college presidents must develop standards
> of what it means for a student to be ≥remediation free.≤ Critics of
> the plan said ≥A lot of the students who need remediation are the same
> students who have already been marginalized by the system because they
> attended the worst high schools and are the least prepared,≤ said Tara
> L. Parker, a University of Massachusetts professor who studies
> developmental education. ≥There is no evidence community colleges do
> remedial courses any better or cheaper.≤
> http://www.journal-news.com/news/hamilton-news/ohio-universities-to-drop-most-
> remedial-classes-1266589.html
> 
> The "Ohio Solution" is the same one that has been talked about since
> the mid 1970s with the "Nation At Risk" report. Elementary and
> secondary education must do a better job. Better articulation
> agreements need to be developed between secondary and postsecondary
> education. An endless number of education commissions made up of
> leaders from K-12 education, postsecondary education, corporate world,
> public advocacy groups, and the rest have been talking and
> experimenting for years to make "this problem" go away.
> 
> It appears the intense fiscal pressures facing public four-year
> colleges due to decreasing financial support from state government has
> renewed the desire to "save costs" and eliminate remedial or
> developmental-level courses. State officials claim offering these
> courses at the four-year public four-year colleges costs $130 million
> annually. While to the average taxpayer this seems considerable, what
> is the combined budget for these public colleges? National studies on
> this issue report the funds devoted to offering these courses is
> between one and five percent. Most faculty who teach these courses are
> part-time and paid considerably less than full-time and especially
> tenured faculty members at the same four-year institution.
> 
> The "Ohio Solution" has been implemented previously in many other
> places. They all share the same problems with achieving their stated
> goals. Here are just a few quick thoughts on the matter. Many more
> could be added by others.
> 1. Changing K-12 education curriculum does nothing to meet the needs
> of returning adults to education. While their exit from high school
> might have given them adequate skills for immediate entry to college,
> the long period out of school has led to atrophy of their skills and
> need for basic level instruction to bring them back to
> college-readiness.
> 2. Even if a school district wanted to change its curriculum, if it
> has less economic resources, how can it be expected to do the same
> level of quality as the better-funded suburban schools?
> 3. Changing K-12 education curriculum does nothing for the students
> who are not enrolled in rigorous college-bound curriculum. Some
> students and their parents have other future plans that initially do
> not include college. Maybe they plan to begin a family. Maybe attend a
> trade school or continue in the family business. Do we want to only
> have one track choice for students in high school?
> 4. Changing K-12 education curriculum does nothing for the students
> who do not fully focus on their classes, read their textbooks with
> great intensity, and complete all homework to perfection. If everyone
> earned A's in their classes, achieved to highest level of proficiency
> with all high risks tests, and in general, were "on task" all the
> time, they might not need the developmental-level courses. Assuming
> that they immediately enter postsecondary education immediately after
> successful completion of high school. With skyrocketing tuition costs,
> family members out of work or working low-wage jobs, and difficulty
> for high-school students to earn much at part-time jobs that now are
> sought by the out-of-work adults, it is not so easy to immediately
> attend college. Some have to earn some money first.
> 
> A wise person once said, "complex problems require complex solutions."
> The "Ohio Solution" fails on this account. So much more could be said
> about this issue. Could some of our Ohio LRNASST members share more
> about this? (My regrets if this has already been discussed recently on
> LRNASST).
> 
> Take care,
> David
> 
> David Arendale, Associate Professor, History & Higher Education and
> Co-Director, Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education.†Author of
> "Access at the Crossroads: Learning Assistance in Higher Education",
> http://z.umn.edu/bookinfo
> 
> University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, College of Education and Human
> Development, Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, Burton
> Hall 225, 178 Pillsbury Drive, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455; (work)
> 612-625-2928; (cell) 612-812-0032; [log in to unmask]
> http://arendale.org† http://twitter.com/DavidArendale
> http://www.facebook.com/DavidArendale
> 
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
> subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web browser
> to
> http://www.lists.ufl.edu/archives/lrnasst-l.html
> 
> To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
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To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]

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