Dear LRNASST Friends,

Several recent articles or reports on education have been publicized
recently.  They run the gambut from warm support to outright attack.  It
was interesting to me since I found them all this morning over the
Internet.  Thought you might be interested.  There are web links to the
entire text of each of the publications.

-- David Arendale


"The workforce, education, and the nation's future."  American Outlook
Magazine, Summer 1998
This article examines the impact of higher levels of academic attainment on
higher income levels.  "High-paying jobs go unfilled because students are
so woefully undereducated."  This article reminds me about the impact of
developmental education with helping students complete college and then
entering the world-of-work.


"The college payoff illusion."  American Outlook Magazine, Fall 1998
This article follows the highly supportive education piece published in the
previous issue of the same magazine.  However, its point of view is vastly
different as the following quote illustrates, "Sure, college pays off well
in the job market -- for those who really belong there."  The author
repeats several of the attacks that have been voiced before:  too many
students go to college to gain skills that should have been learned in high
school; "unqualified" students corrode college standards; recruiting and
providing scholarships to "diverse" students raising the tuition cost of
all students.  The author ends with this statement, "Rather than paying for
college education for cashiers, home health aides, and receptionists, we
would do well to consider ending the subsidies that encourage this
irrational behavior."

I was watching the 1930's version of the movie "Scrouge" this weekend.
This article reminded of the scene early in the movie where the two fund
raisers asked Scrouge for a contribution for the poor and hungry.  The
conversation among the three characters sort of reminded me of the above
article.  :-(


The following text is from a press release issued by The Institute for
Higher Education Policy about a major report that they have released.  I
will post the entire press release to the NADE homepage under the
subsection on public policy statements and background information in a day
or so.

• Report Debunks Myths of Remedial Students, Costs
• 46% of Remedial Students Are Over Age 22; 1/4 Are 30 or Older
• Costs Generally Lower Than Core Academic Programs Like Math and English
• Strategies to Reduce Need for Remediation, Improve Effectiveness Proposed

The report, “College Remediation: What It Is, What It Costs, What’s at
Stake,” was prepared by The Institute for Higher Education Policy, a
non-profit research group in Washington, DC, and sponsored by the Ford
Foundation.  A complete copy of the report is available through The
Institute's website

The PDF document is readable through the free Acrobat document reader.  If
you need a copy of the Acrobat software, it can be downloaded from

A new report says that college remedial education is being threatened by
“conjecture and criticism” that portrays remediation as inappropriate or
costly.  The report refutes these criticisms and the widely-held notion
that all remedial students are poorly prepared recent high school
graduates, instead citing remedial education as a “core function” of
colleges.  Remedial education has been at the center of a firestorm of
criticism and blame-placing in the last year, with critics describing
remediation as too expensive, inappropriate for college-level work, and
“double billing” for skills that should have been learned in high school.
The national debate has been fueled in part by the decision of the Trustees
of the City University of New York (CUNY) to phase out most remedial
education in the system’s four-year colleges.

But the report points out that 46% of freshmen taking remediation are over
the age of 22, the traditional age of bachelor’s degree completion.  More
than one-quarter of freshmen enrolled in remedial courses are over the age
of 30.  These findings defy the stereotype of remedial students as
unprepared recent high school graduates. While almost $2 billion is spent
annually on college remediation nationally, this represents only 2% of
higher education spending.  A case study of the costs of remedial education
in Arkansas indicates that spending per student on remediation is generally
lower than the costs of core academic programs such as English and math.

The report proposes several strategies to reduce the need for remedial
education and improve its effectiveness.  Strategies include:
1. aligning high school requirements with what colleges expect students to
know and be able to do;
2. developing early intervention and financial aid programs targeted at
K-12 students that link mentoring and  academic support with a guarantee of
college aid;
3. improving teacher preparation;
4. making remediation a comprehensive program that encompasses more than
just tutoring and skills development; and
5. using technology to enhance the teaching-learning process.  [End quote
from press release.]

-- David

David R. Arendale, Associate Director of CAD
University of Missouri-Kansas City, Center for Academic Development
5014 Rockhill Road, SASS #210, Kansas City, MO 64110-2499  USA
Internet:  [log in to unmask]   Voice (Work):  816-235-1197
Fax (Work):  816-235-5156   Voice (Home):  913-789-8314
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