NPR this morning reports that in Virginia, 25% of students enrolled in college must take remedial courses. The article is not yet available online, but here is an excerpt from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's recent address at the Innovate to Educate Symposium in Richmond.
"Many of those who are lucky enough to graduate from high school are not ready for success in college. In two- and four-year colleges here in Virginia, 25 percent of your students must take remedial classes. That's simply not good enough. We must raise the bar."
I suspect, fairly or not, that my own Big Southern U suffers from a similar problem. Nor do I think southern schools are unique in encountering these issues in their student body.
I don't know if Virginia's "Standards of Learning" (yup, we called 'em the S.O.L.s...hah!) are the solution to this problem, nor am I sure that "Race to the Top" is the solution. But no, Virginia, you are not imagining the problem.
Disclaimer: I am the child of a primary-school educator teaching in the second-poorest district in her state, and thus K-12 education is more on my radar than it might be otherwise.
A Parting Shot: * steps on soapbox * National Media & Blogosphere, can we please stop talking about whether or not Juan Williams has a psychiatrist? The discussion stigmatizes those of us WITH psychiatrists in a big way, and as the saying in the mental health community goes...a lot of people with psychiatrists are way saner than those without them. * steps off soapbox *