According to a report released by the Ohio Board of Regents, 41% of Ohio’s high school graduates who enroll in one of Ohio’s public colleges need remedial coursework.  These students are not “college-ready” according to the report.  They are not “college-ready” according to Board of Regents Chancellor Jim Petro.  They are not “college-ready” according to Ohio Schools Superintendent Stan Heffner.  They are not “college-ready” because that is precisely what the colleges are telling us.  According to the report, the remedial course placement policies vary across colleges in Ohio, resulting in inconsistent results in the data.  And as we unpack the numbers, it’s hard to not look at this information as simply more rhetoric to continue heaping blame on the K-12 public schools in Ohio.  The colleges are trying to pass on the blame for their own unpreparedness down to the high schools under the guise of not providing “college-ready” students, while the numbers lead us to believe that it may actually be that Ohio’s colleges are not “student-ready.”

StateImpact Ohio, a collaboration of public media outlets, identified this issue as one of their Six Ohio Education Stories to Watch in 2012:

2. College-readiness. Early this year, expect to see Columbus focus on increasing the number of high school graduates who are actually ready to take English and math courses at a four-year university or their local community college — And efforts to align what students study with the kind of graduates colleges want. Wondering what that translates to in the real world? So are we.

On Christmas Day, the Dispatch released a fluff piece that included no critical questions about the report.  The article included the following details:

About 41 percent of students who graduate from a public high school in Ohio take at least one remedial course when they enroll in one of the state’s two- or four-year public colleges, according to the Ohio Board of Regents.

Remedial classes cost as much as other college courses but don’t count toward a degree. They also increase the time it takes to obtain a degree and the likelihood that a student will drop out.

Last year, Ohio spent an estimated $147 million on remedial education — money that could be better spent on other academic programs, said Jim Petro, the state’s higher-education chief. Petro is urging the four-year state universities to phase out their remedial programs over the next six years.

All of our college-bound students should be college-ready, and we shouldn’t have to take a step back to get them prepared,” Petro said.

After the phase-out, college students will be able to take remedial classes at branch campuses of the four-year schools and at the state’s community colleges, many of which are also working with high schools to get more teens prepared for college.

The best quote has to be Petro’s “we shouldn’t have to take a step back” line – we’ll revisit that one later. In addition to that, though, note that the Chancellor is prompting universities to phase out all remedial coursework.

To help reinforce Petro’s push that the fault lies with public school districts is State Superintendent Stan Heffner.  In his December 5 newsletter, Heffner put the onus for correcting this situation on high schools:

Regents update College Readiness Expectations
The Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) released its draft of College Readiness Expectations to ensure that students move from high school to college without needing to take remedial classes. Currently, 41 percent of high school graduates who attend a public college or university in our state need to take remedial courses, which cost time and money for both the students and the institutions of higher learning.

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is working collaboratively with OBR to ensure a strong alignment between high school requirements and college readiness expectations.

In case that wasn’t forceful enough, Heffner opened his newsletter the following week with an even stronger message of K-12 responsibility as is evident in the constant reminder that the problem is with the high school graduates, not the colleges that enroll them.

As many of you know, I have spent the last several weeks traveling throughout the state to discuss the need to implement a college- and career-readiness agenda by the 2014-2015 school year. This includes implementing the new academic content standards now; participating in the new online assessment system that is being developed…; expanding the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment…; and redesigning the accountability system to reflect higher student performance expectations and to provide incentives and rewards to schools and districts for academic excellence.

The report contains remediation rates for students from each Ohio high school in 2009 who enrolled as first-time freshmen in an Ohio university or college that fall. The projected cost of remediation that year was $130 million, and it’s projected to be $147 million for 2010.

To address this issue I will be stressing ODE’s collaboration with the Board of Regents and school districts to ensure a strong alignment between high school course requirements and college readiness expectations….we have posted the Board of Regents’ report, “College Readiness Expectations for English and Mathematics,” which aligns its statements of what first year college students need to know and be able to do to be placed in non-remediation level courses to the Common Core standards.

Heffner’s newsletter then included the links to the Board of Regents expectations so that schools can adjust their curriculum accordingly and colleges can avoid providing these transitional classes.

But this isn’t a new problem.  According to a release from the Board of Regents in March 2007:

Ohio higher education has been concerned about the successful transition of students from high school to college courses, particularly in mathematics and English, for nearly three decades.

For “nearly three decades” Ohio’s colleges have been seeing the same problem.  It’s implied that they will not be the ones making the change – high schools need to make the appropriate adjustments.

So where’s the disconnect?  Should Ohio’s high schools be making these adjustments?  Are high schools the cause for the high number of remedial courses?  The truth might be out there, but neither Petro nor the Board of Regents appears to have it.

Let’s consider the source data for the report.  The information about remedial coursework is reported by the college and is not based on an objective measure, but is instead unique to each institution.  The Board of Regents report plainly states:

Developmental course enrollment, while not exact, is a useful indicator of the college preparation levels of freshmen…It should also be noted that developmental course placement policies vary across colleges, so the mix of students attending each institution will have some impact on the reported developmental course enrollment rates.

In short, not only does the individual college decide what the appropriate entry-level requirements are, but each college has a different requirement.  Therefore, if Ohio State has a stricter requirement than Shawnee State, the numbers will be artificially inflated since OSU enrolls more students overall.

But what about the these arbitrary levels and the revised college-readiness expectations set by the Board of Regents?  Strangely enough, the average ACT scores for Ohio’s graduates exceed both the national average and the ACT’s College Readiness Benchmark.  On top of that, Ohio students in Advanced Placement (AP) courses experience much greater success on the standardized AP exams (2009 passage rate of 65.9% vs. 58.5%) than the national average, the 10th highest percentage in the country.

If this is a focus of the state right now, then it’s only logical that Ohio must be sliding down in the rankings, right?  Not according to the Ohio Department of Education:

August 17, 2011 – Tribune Chronicle (Warren, OH)

In Ohio, where 69 percent of the state’s recent graduates took the American College Test, the average composite score came in at 21.8, slightly higher than the national average composite of 21.1.

Patrick Gallaway, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education, said scoring throughout the state was “pretty much” what state education officials expected and is about the same that it has been.

“We haven’t really seen any trends indicating the scores going up,” Gallaway said. “This is better than going down, definitely.

”The main thing is that in Ohio our highest priority, of course, is to focus on college-readiness. The Common Core standards we use help with this and we’ll continue to focus on this and to encourage schools to focus on this as well,” Gallaway said.

So by these objective measures, Ohio’s graduates are performing at a rate that is beyond the national average.  Considering that less than 50% of them are attending public colleges you wouldn’t think there would be a demand for these remedial classes unless the colleges were manufacturing such a need.  Wait, did we mention that fewer than half of Ohio’s graduates are actually attending Ohio’s public colleges?

Let’s look at some statistics.

First up is a nine-year look at numbers provided by the Ohio Board of Regents:

The only significant change in the last nine years is the increase in the total number of public high school graduates.  In that time period, Ohio’s public colleges have not increased the percentage of students they are serving, nor have the “quality” of students changed.  What is most remarkable about this data is its lack of change over the time frame.  In fact, the consistency with which students enroll and are identified for remediation is almost formulaic on the part of the colleges.

Considering this data in conjunction with a slow and steady increase on ACT scores, Ohio’s consistently above-average results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and Ohio’s increasing graduation rate, we could make the case that while the quality of Ohio’s graduates is actually improving, the public colleges have failed to make adjustments to accommodate the increased numbers.  Further, the colleges’ steady identification of students for remediation fails to align with what other national measures are reporting.

 

Now let’s revisit the quote from Board of Regents Chancellor, Jim Petro.

All of our college-bound students should be college-ready, and we shouldn’t have to take a step back to get them prepared.

Remember that these are public colleges receiving taxpayer dollars.  To fortify this concept of having a responsibility to Ohio’s taxpayers, the colleges received just under $2 billion ($1,998,357,633 to be exact) from the state in 2011.  This budgetary item goes through the Board of Regents and is identified as the State Share of Instruction (SSI).  According to the funding report, this amount correlated to 416,653 students.  By comparison, Ohio’s public school districts received nearly $11 billion ($10,871,984,662; state & federal) to provide an education to over 1.7 million children.

A quick cost analysis for Ohio’s taxpayers reveals:

  • Colleges: $1,998,357,633 / 416,653 students = Average cost of $4796.22 per student
  • Public school systems: $10,871,984,662 / 1,749,247 students = Average cost of $6215.24 per student

Pretty good deal we’re getting on our public colleges until you realize….

  1. Colleges also charge the students tuition (full-time OSU undergrad pays $3,245 per quarter; $9,735 year).  Using this figure as an estimated amount for all Ohio college students (balances lower regional campus costs against higher graduate tuition) equals an additional $4 billion ($9735 x 416,653 = $4,056,116,955) in additional revenue for the colleges.  This figure more than triples our above calculation for the average cost per student.  (Adding in local funding for public schools does not even double their amount.)
  2. Ohio’s public colleges are serving only 44% of their potential pool of students and, with the new plan to eliminate “remedial” classes, would be reducing services to 41% of those students. Quick math reveals that 18% would be the approximate number of public school graduates who would be considered college-ready by Ohio’s public colleges after the elimination of remedial classes through the Board of Regents’ plan.

Imagine the response if Ohio’s other publicly funded schools simply stopped offering courses for those who weren’t “school-ready.”  Fortunately for us, we have some data in Ohio that let’s us simulate such a scenario.

 

In Ohio, the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment-Literacy (KRA-L) is required of all children entering kindergarten in public schools for the first time and is designed to assist educators in the evaluation of young children’s literacy skills. Students receive a composite score (on a scale from 0-29) which is reported to Ohio Department of Education.  The composite scores fall within three score bands that have been designed to guide decisions about further assessment and instruction for individual children and groups of children:

  • Band 1 (Composite scores 0-13): Assess broadly for intense instruction.
  • Band 2 (Composite scores 14-23): Assess for targeted instruction.
  • Band 3 (Composite scores 24-29): Assess for enriched instruction.

The best part about using this measure is that the school districts actually administer the assessment themselves, just as the colleges do with the course placements, so they both allow for a bit of subjectivity in the results.  Unlike the colleges screenings, though, “the KRA-L may not be used to determine entrance or placement in kindergarten.”

Using those bands as a guide, we could surmise that students who score in bands 2 or 3 are “school-ready” and can enter our public classrooms and receive age-appropriate instruction.  Those who score in band 1 appear to need remediation, but we’ve eliminated that option in our schools because it’s not cost efficient for us to offer classes to assist those who don’t meet our self-selected standard.  Those students will need to return home until they can obtain the appropriate school-ready skills necessary so that we can be successful in educating them.  As you can see from the chart, the KRA-L numbers are consistent across the years just like the remediation figures, plus the KRA-L counts are much smaller numbers than the 41% that the colleges are turning their backs on, so it should work out just fine.

In fact, bolstering the case in another strange way that corresponds to the Regents report is the use of KRA-L data as a predictor of success.  The report notes that a student taking remediation is less likely to graduate within six years of initially enrolling.  The colleges blame this on the student not being “college-ready” and use it in their argument that the high schools are to blame for such a student’s failure.  Look at the chart below comparing graduation and the number of students scoring in band 1 on the KRA-L.

These are admittedly not the same students across these bands, but a misuse of the data in this chart could lead one to believe that we’d simply be kicking out those who need remediation sooner rather than later.  Wouldn’t that technically reduce the cost of public education?  Sadly, there are people in our state who hold these misguided beliefs.

Knowing the reality of the data sets, we could instead be making the case that public schools are moving many children out of remediation and on to graduation throughout their schooling, an argument in favor of remedial coursework to help students become more successful.

This fictional example is absurd to think of in its application to publicly funded K-12 schools, so why is it being promoted for publicly funded colleges?  Publicly funded colleges where students are willing to pay thousands of dollars for an education?

 

Finally, imagine a scenario where high school programs are encouraged and allowed to blame students’ lack success at the secondary level on the middle schools. And instead of continuing to cater to students who are simply not “high school-ready,” the high schools are dictating what items the middle schools need to change in their curriculum.  The middle schools, ironically enough, have been following the state-adopted curriculum and have attained good scores on the state-mandated assessments.  The high schools are allowed to ignore these results and cut everything they deem to be of a remedial nature based on the secret standard they have elected to follow.  In this story, it’s the children who lose.  Children who are transitioning from one level to the next end up caught in the crossfire between the two schools and lose the opportunity to further their education through absolutely NO fault of their own.  And while the middle school can be said to be following the established rules, the high school has become an independent agent deciding who they wish to grace with an education.  And down the road when the number of graduates is at an unacceptable rate of only 24%, the middle school will take the blame while the high school will be revered for their high standards.

You think that’s unrealistic?  That’s the very scenario the Board of Regents and Ohio’s public universities are embracing through the release of this latest report and the accompanying news releases.

If an entire public school system had a graduation rate of 55%, would it be news?  What if only 24% of the students graduated?  Without a doubt.  So why doesn’t it make news when it’s publicly funded colleges?

The facts are all in the Board of Regents’ report:

For example, among full?time bachelor’s degree seeking students at Ohio’s public universities, 34% of those who took developmental coursework in their first year earned a bachelor’s degree within six years, compared to a graduation rate of 69% for students who did not take developmental courses.

Now look back at the first chart we posted:

According to the report, 34% of those who took the remedial courses, and 69% of others graduated within 6 years.

  • 34% x 21,641 = 7,358 graduates (remedial coursework)
  • 69% x 31,141 = 21,488 graduates (non-remedial coursework)
  • 7,358 + 21,488 = 28,846 total graduates

With a starting enrollment of 52,782 students, that means that the graduation rate for Ohio’s publicly funded colleges is only 55%.  But if we hold them to the standard for Ohio’s other public schools, a standard that judges them on every student, then the number is severely deflated.  An embarrassingly low 24% of Ohio’s public high school graduates earns a degree from a publicly funded Ohio college within six years.

Instead of dropping developmental coursework from their offerings, the colleges should be investigating how they can offer better services for at-risk students to improve their retention and graduation rate. Ohio’s public colleges should be working to reduce the ever-increasing cost of tuition (capped at 3.5% per year) that is prohibitive to students from low-income families.  Students from low-income families who are more likely to demonstrate lower test scores, thereby being assigned remedial coursework by the college, resulting in additional classes at a substantially greater cost.  And unless the 41% of students who find themselves in the situation of being assigned an additional course or two receive targeted assistance from the publicly funded college, we shouldn’t be surprised that the majority of them (66%!) are dropping out.

Oh, right.  That’s the high schools’ problem.

 

There is one additional piece of information we need to throw in that speaks to some of the irrationality of this complaint about public school graduates and the “need” for new state standards.  In December 2001, Ohio adopted new K-12 Academic Content Standards for Mathematics and English/Language Arts.  To quote directly from the standards books:

Clear standards about what students should know and be able to do in reading, writing and mathematics is the first component of an aligned system that will ensure no child is left behind.

Therefore, in the 2002-2003 school year, districts around Ohio began implementing these new standards.  Ten years later, Ohio’s education leaders are decrying the need for reform, claiming our children are not prepared.  While many calls for reform focus on Ohio Graduation Test results and relatively stagnant national test results (e.g., ACT, NAEP), the Board of Regents report is focusing on actual high school graduates (class of 2009).  In all of these instances, the results being critiqued do not include the students who have been taught entirely under the 2001 standards.  The kindergarten class of 2002-2003 was the first group of students to fully experience those new state standards.

Those students are now high school freshmen and will take the Ohio Graduation Tests for the first time beginning March 11, 2013.

 

 

 

Evangelize!
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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carrie-Preston/100000765994211 Carrie Preston

    The remediation classes colleges offer are a joke. They are and have been used as a way to weed out students, and make more money off of the students. What they need to do is to learn HOW TO TEACH!!! Those who teach a college course often do not know how to teach. They lecture and in the first two years before you actually take any off the core courses for your major this is very destructive. As a young student your motivation for college is not the same as an adult who is going back to school after being out for 5 or more years. These students think they are going to school to learn about what they want to go to school for but they are asked or told to take classes in English and math, subjects they were glad to get over with and move on from in high school. What the colleges need to do is to have tutors ready to work with all students as needed for every class as they students take them. Not additional classes that add more time to your schooling and more money on the dreaded student loans. My best professor was a math prof who realized I knew the work but had math anxiety. He had me take the math tests in a room beside his office with quiet music playing-a coke and a bag of m&ms. I would pass the tests with high A’s. But when taken in the classroom I would bomb it. I knew the work but stressed so much over the tests I could not pass them. He assessed the situation and made appropriate accommodations after his classes which were trig. classes I was able to other math class and  test in the classroom because I learned how to  became comfortable  taking the tests with his help. Yes colleges need to change how they do things if they do not see the results they want to see.

  • Annekarima

    Hmmm…Greg, how bad can it be?  I had to take one of those placement tests to see where I stood before I could take a foreign language course at Columbus State recently.  Scared to death because I have been out of high school for 40 years, last serious college was philosophy about 12 years ago.  I took it.  They told me that not only did I pass it, I got the highest score possible.  So they are saying….?

  • Anonymous

    For certain there is much that can be interpreted, so I tried to include links to all of the resources.  The lack of a thoughtful and logical rationale based on their own statistics is what ended up bothering me more than anything else.  Instead of a critical self-analysis of their processes, of their responsibility for education Ohio’s children, the colleges and the Regents are using a very thin set of data to make grandiose assumptions about the fault of others.  The public funding component cemented the post for me.  Seeing them receive $2 billion in state funding and remembering the battles over K-12 funding issues, not only in 2011 but in the past decade, on top of the finger-pointing at others was the final straw for me.

    As for the test quality you mentioned?  Apparently it doesn’t matter – the number of qualifying students has been consistently around 40% for the nine years reported.  To me, it looks like a quota has been in place.

  • Anonymous

    Ohio’s leaders believe they can make the decision and cut opportunities without answering any of those bothersome questions.

  • Anastasjoy

    Boy, this article is confusing. I’m going to have to read it again. My initial reaction is that if this is indeed true or it’s something the Ohio board of regents is concerned about, shouldn’t we be dumping resources into high schools instead of taking them away? And shouldn’t we be sanctioning and shutting all those failing charter schools and redirecting the money to models that work, like public magnet schools? Shouldn’t the Dispatch be screaming to the rooftops that cutting education money is like slitting the state’s throat? And that will a budget that swelled by $5 billion, good public education for all kids should be our first priority and should never, ever be cut?

    Oh wait, Ohio is Republicantown. Things don’t have to make sense.

  • Mike

    Greg – I have to question much of what you’ve included in this article.  First of all, can you provide the URL for the charts that you’ve provided?  I’ve found information at the Board of Regents website that is quite different than what you’ve included in your charts.  For example, page 17 of the report found at http://regents.ohio.gov/perfrpt/hs_2005/HS_Transition_2005_statewide%20v2.pdf indicates that there were 62,938 “first-year Ohio college students Fall 2003″, not 52,243 as in your table.  Perhaps your data does not use fall semester enrollments, but a different way of measuring enrollment.  Does the 52,243 number in your chart refer only to students who graduated from a public school, and not private, charter, etc., schools?  If so, that should be noted.  Regardless, the number in the table you’ve included is (significantly) different from the data in the OBR report I cite above.  This is true for the rest of the data you’ve used as well, which calls into question the entire article.  Secondly, the column “number of college students taking remedial math or English” would seem to imply that these are exact figures (especially, using numbers as exact as 19,752), when in fact it is clear that you or somebody has simply taken the stated percentage (as if it is exact) and multiplied by the number of college students cited.  For example, 49,380 x 0.40 = 19,752 (exactly); 50,397 x 0.40 = 20,159; etc.  Might there have actually been 19,520 students taking remedial math or English (since that would also round off to 40%), instead of precisely 19,752?  The column should be marked as “approximate number of college students…”, especially since your whole argument seems predicated on this particular data.  Thirdly, you imply in the article (and explicitly state in your reply to Annakarima’s comment) that there may be a formula or “quota” by the colleges in determining the number of students who require remedial coursework, simply because the percentage has hovered between 39% – 42% (according to the data in this article).  But the percentage of Ohio’s high school graduates wh0 enroll in college has also hovered between 44% – 46%, so does that also imply that there is a formula or quota limiting the number of students who choose to attend college?  Given the number of open-enrollment universities and community colleges in the state, the obvious answer is no.  In fact, it is not surprising that the percentage of students needing remediation has not shown much variation, given the sheer number of college students that we’re talking about.  Also, the small variations that have occurred in the remediation percentages have correlated with the number of high school students who followed a college-prep curriculum (as would be expected).  Perhaps the story you should be focusing on is that, even with the increased number of students graduating from charter and private high schools, the percentage of students needing remediation has not improved (as Kasich, Heffner, Petro, et al, would like to believe).  But to imply that colleges are forcing qualified students to take remedial courses because they have a quota that they are trying to meet, simply to gain additional revenue, is absolutely absurd and an affront to many college educators (who recognize the difficult position that K-12 educators have found themselves in, and do not “blame” the K-12 teachers).  It is in the colleges’ best interests (especially given the funding formula used by the Board of Regents) to NOT have students enrolled in remedial courses, and to have students successfully obtaining degrees.

  • Anonymous

    Mike,

    I compiled the charts from the multiple reports available at the BOR site; primarily on this page where the report at the center of the post can be found: http://www.ohiohighered.org/data/transition-report

    If you download them all, you’ll notice the collected data changes over the years and they changed to including only public school graduates in the reports (no explanation given).  That is the reason for the large discrepancy of approximately 10,000 you are seeing.  Those earlier years included all students, but since the latter years, especially the figures referenced in their report and to the press included only public school students, I followed suit.

    Regarding rounding variations, if the Regents report included rounding errors, I have no way of knowing as they are the keepers of the source data.  Any calculations I made were just basic arithmetic based on their figures.  The column headings on the spreadsheet were also plucked straight from them.  If they are approximations, then I’ll agree that they should have labeled them as such.

    My argument was predicated more on Petro’s interpretation of the report than on the the numbers included within.  I’m willing to concede that the numbers are accurate, but I’m unwilling to believe that the results indicate an imminent need to adjust the standards at the high school level.  Based on the report and the subsequent comments by Petro and Heffner, all of the fingers are pointed at the K-12s, with no indication that colleges have any reason to question their practices.

    As for the lack of variation, I’m actually fine with your interpretation.  For me that calls into question their implication that this is a sudden and necessary change.  This is about money.

    And Mike, I can’t collectively blame the college-level educators in this scenario any more than I can collectively blame all of Ohio’s high school educators.  The interpretation of this report in such a way that blame has been definitively identified and corrective measures unilaterally heaped upon a single party is unjustified.  This report is inconclusive, at best, and the outcomes recommended by Petro are economic in nature, not educational.

    I urge you to dig around the Regents site and the other links I spread throughout the post.  I find nothing to support the conclusions of Petro nor Heffner’s immediate ownership of the problem.

    Thanks for reading and for the feedback/questions.  I downloaded over 100 different files from a variety of pages, so if you still don’t find what you’re looking for, let me know and I can backtrack to find the right links.  I’m more interested in giving you access to make draw your own conclusions than in convincing you to follow mine.

  • Anonymous

    Forgot — I’ll see what stats are available regarding the charters/private schools, but your point about a lack of visible improvement in this arena as a result of the changes is certainly interesting.

  • Anonymous

    Solid point about the proportions versus the averages.  My main intention in providing those comparisons was to call into question the conclusions of the report.  Certainly the proportions could be changing while the mean is increasing (rich getting richer?), but we obviously don’t have access to the fully conclusive picture.  Neither does the Board of Regents report provide us enough data to conclude that inadequate high school standards are the problem.  I’m glad that you are calling me on this because that is sort of the point I was trying to make about the Regents report — the data doesn’t seem to tell us much at all.

    My use of the KRA-L data was merely as an analogy, not as a direct comparison.  I don’t believe we actually have KRA-L data old enough to link to HS graduates.  Conceptually, I wanted to merely question the way the Regents data is being used to the way it could be misapplied at the Kindergarten level.  And if nothing else, data like that can be informative when considering the “system” as the Regents report and the subsequent conclusions have done.

    I think the 24% number is piss-poor no matter how we would want to spin it, but especially in light of the recommendations of this report.

    I definitely think this illustrates a much larger systemic and societal issue about education, especially the push for college for all children.  I’m theorizing that the series of questions you threw out rapid-fire in the middle were not targeted to me for answers.  To be perfectly clear, I think the Regents report is interesting information, but is nothing that should be driving educational reform.  I ABSOLUTELY think we should be considering & ENCOURAGING tech schools, career academies (i.e., fire, police) and other post-secondary options for students.  My mindset in writing the post was to take their data and their report and use it at face value.  Take their interpretation and judgmental view of high schools and present the exact same data from a different viewpoint in an attempt to illustrate the hypocrisy of the system and our leaders who should be asking critical questions about the data.  They didn’t include those “oddball” populations, so neither did I.  I wasn’t trying to do them any favors, you know.

  • Anonymous

    Anastasia — here’s my shorter version just for you:

    America’s education system is completely jacked up and our leaders appear to be clueless as they try to pass off any accountability.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nate.stickney Nathantagonist Bad-guy Stickne

    I think the more we can blur the last year of high school and the first year of college, the better.  I benefited from taking some college classes my senior year of high school, and know others who benefited from the remedial classes mentioned here.

    The bottom line is that 18 year olds are still learning what it means to “learn” and develop effective methods of time and study management.  I’m not trying to make excuses, but when was the last time Jim Petro was 18?

    Lastly, having graduated in December 2008, at the worst part of the recession, I think it’s important that colleges have more realistic and pragmatic conversations with students about careers.  I studied Political Science and my girlfriend International Studies.  Our contracts teaching in Korea end in March, and we’re trying to figure out what skills we acquired, and how those fit in a depressed Ohio job market.

    Great writing.  Some of the best I’ve seen on this site.  

  • Annekarima

    Thanks for the reply, Greg.  My aunt was a school teacher and a good one.  But no one of us wanted to do what she did.  She taught first grade in the Wooster school district.  While those of us in the rural districts may not of had the best education, we got good ones and for that we can thank a teacher.

  • http://www.facebook.com/djizzle.moon Djizzle Moon

    Half the harder math,eg. calc., teachers at the University of Toledo can’t speak clear english & completely ignore struggling students giving all their attention to those who are already doing well. They can’t teach & have unrealistic expectations of american students based off of their home countries’ education values. Easier math, eg. basic algebra, classes are made absolutely easy, all teachers’ 1st language is english, & it’s like the student is just being passed along. This contributes to many changing majors or dropping out. The english department is mostly full of those self rightous types who’s heads are far up the a&% & deem everything most students write as not good enough, but they’re not telling the student what exactly is to make the writing so much better than what the student has already submitted. They have their senority so they don’t care if their students pass english or not. I had a credit counting freshman english class where we did nothing but watch youtube videos, having nothing to do with a topic or english in general, then out of nowhere teacher would assign a paper with no clear direction of what you were supposed to be writing.

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