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This is in response to several e-mails commenting on my post about
community college faculty teaching remediation at senior colleges.

I don't know the exact funding formulas at CUNY, but that certainly
could be a big part of the story.  Our community colleges are funded
by New York City and our senior colleges are funded by the state.
(They also used to be funded by the city but that changed about
20 years ago when New York City almost went into default.)  Our
faculty are unionized and are paid well, on the same scales for
both community and senior.  Community also must get tenure, but
the criteria are, I believe, more teaching-oriented than at senior
colleges.

There is a big political underpinning to the funding because the
Republcan governor (Pataki) has cut the senior college budgets more
than the Republican mayor (Giuliani) has cut the communities.  He
has a strong agenda for downsizing the seniors and cutting remediation
is a big part of that.  Giuliani has also said he would like
remediation eliminated from the communities, but I don't know how
seriously that is taken because of the obvious difficulties of
doing so.  So the seniors are under more pressure.

Interestingly, no one here who advocates eliminating remediation
talks about it as a funding issue, nor do they publicly acknowledge
that one alternative is to provide it in the senior buildings by
community college faculty.  The public rhetoric is that it is purely
about academic standards, and to read the papers here you would think
that elimination means elimination, not substitution of alternately
funded faculty.

Regarding remedial vs. developmental, we have had that discussion
on this list before, and people have defined the difference in
concepts.  I wonder, though, how frequently do those differences
actually exist in practice?  I have seen "developmental" courses
taught as remedial (skill- and deficit-based), and "remedial"
courses taught as developmental (learning-process based), although
less frequently.  It may depend more on the individual who is
teaching them than on what they are called.  And I suspect that some
departments would rather define them as remedial so they can avoid
the controversy over whether they should carry college credit.

Annette Gourgey
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