CUNY, Community Colleges and Remedial Students!

Dear Commons Community,

The NY Times has a sobering article on the extent of remediation at the CUNY community colleges.  The thrust of the article is based on the fact that three-quarters of the 17,500 freshmen at the community colleges this year needed remedial instruction in reading, writing or math, and nearly a quarter of the freshmen have required such instruction in all three subjects.   The reasons are familiar but were reinforced last month by startling statistics from NYS education officials.  As commented upon this blog, fewer than half of all New York State students who graduated from high school in 2009 were prepared for college or careers, as measured by state Regents tests in English and math. In New York City, the proportion was 23 percent.

The cost of remediation in the community colleges was about $33 million last year  — twice as much as it was 10 years ago.  The chances of success for these students that is completion of a degree are not very good as Executive Vice Chancellor Lexa Logue indicated:  “There’s no question that the more remediation a student needs, the less likely they are ever to graduate.”

The article goes on to comment on some hope for the future as President Obama pledges to make completion of a two-year degree a national priority, the Gates Foundation is earmarking $110 million in grants for this purpose, and the NYC Education Department is implementing better student tracking programs in high school and post high school.


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