Interesting, but with all due respect, this is not a well-conceived
For instance, the implication‹and it is implied and not warranted‹ of the
sentence, ³[S]tudents whose families were in the top 20 precedent of
income nationally actually took more remedial courses than students in the
bottom 20 percent at the same colleges.² says nothing about the
preparation of those two groups of students relative to one another, only
their enrollment in remedial courses. Many of those courses are  probably
not required, so they are not a good measure of relative preparation.
Understood in the context of affluent students often using resources at
greater rates than non-affluent students, this  data point can be
interpreted  quite differently than intended. The implication is that
affluent students were LESS well prepared because they took MORE courses.
But there are lots of other  reasons besides preparation that students do
and do not take remedial courses and many of them correlate with SES.

I would use this suggestive data and opinion piece to explain that
³remediation² is not the same in all contexts (it was invented at Harvard,
Princeton soon followed) and that, in fact, not all instances of students
being under-prepared for a college curriculum suggest student
³remediation². Such a position would assume that all college curricula
articulate with high school curricula. This is not the case,as I think we
all knw. College is not grade 13 and the most selective schools are least
like high school. 

By the way, why would we think that adherence to Common Core would address
this issue? This is the unstated and unsupported premise of this piece,
but I need an argument, preferably with evidence, that this is likely to
be the case. I don¹t think that conclusion follows from the argument
offered‹but I have not seen the original study.



Dominic (Nic) J. Voge  ||  Associate Director
Undergraduate Learning Program
McGraw Center for Teaching & Learning ||  Princeton University
328 Frist Center
(609)258-6921  ||

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