The search for who to blame for what some consider is a failure to
educate children has been going on for centuries and will no doubt
continue forever.  Maybe I'm weird, but I don't really care why
underprepared students end up in my developmental classes;  I just care
about getting them out and into college-level courses!

Here's a thought.  We decide that our educational system has failed
because some students lack the specific skills and knowledge that
someone has determined should be acquired by a certain age.  Imagine if
we did that for babies.  We could say that all children should be
walking by 12 months and talking in sentences by the age of two.  Well,
mine walked at 14 months and didn't speak in sentences until he was
three.  Was I to blame (bad teacher);  was my son (unmotivated)?  Of
course, if he still hadn't walked by the time he turned 2, something
would have been wrong.  But it would have been diagnosed and treated -
without searching for the guilty party.

Maybe those students who lack skills and knowledge are simply not ready
to acquire them.

Just my 2 cents.

Lonna Smith
San Jose State University