Ready or Not, Here They Come

George Leef

In today’s Pope Center Clarion Call, Jenna Robinson writes about the findings that about half of the students who enroll in college every year are not regarded as “college ready.”

As we know, many schools will accept almost anyone, then they require the weakest of the weak to go through some remedial courses, after which the students are supposedly ready for college work. I have always doubted that a semester or two can make up for years of educational neglect and malpractice in K-12. Students who read poorly and have very limited vocabularies, for example, are not going to become good readers who are capable of reading (that is, comprehending) college-level literature and assigned books in most academic disciplines with a remedial English course—even an excellent one. Many of those courses probably aren’t rigorous and instructors don’t want to fail students because that depletes the number of paying customers.

When students (or as one friend suggests, “tuitioners”) start to realize that obtaining a college degree is apt to do them little if any good in the labor market, many of our mid- and lower-tier schools will find it awfully hard to stay afloat.
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