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Martha,

I appreciate your impassioned plea to reconsider what it is we are doing.  I
too am concerned about the "relevance" of college developmental courses. I
suspect if we looked further into Bohr's students, we would find out that they
improved their reading ability because it was a relevant, authentic, necessary
task, unlike most of the reading paragraphs present in developmental reading
courses.

We, too,  are currently looking at our "whole language" developmental
reading program here at Southwest Texas State University.  We are finding some
opposite results.  Our "remedial" students as defined by a state mandated
reading test are performing at or above the so-called "regular" students in
overall GPA, performance in high-risk (heavy duty reading) courses like
Introduction to American History and Introduction to Philosophy, and most
importantly are being retained at a rate better than the "regular" student.  We
only have tentative data and hope to publish these results (after our
administrators see them).  We describe much of what we are doing in a
article this fall in the Journal of Adult and Adolescent Literature (formerly
Journal of Reading).

We believe others of you out there are also seeing similar successes.  Nobody
will promote your program if you don't.  Let the rest of us know how well you
are doing.


David C. Caverly, Ph.D.
Professor, Dept. of Curr. and Instruction
Southwest Texas State University
San Marcos, TX  78666-4616
(512) 245-3100
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