The idea that schools in privileged communities are failing to prepare significant numbers of students is borne out in a striking new study showing that nearly half of the students who begin their college careers taking remedial courses come from middle- and upper-income families. Not only do remedial courses add more than $1 billion each year to students’ bills for tuition, but students who start out in these classes take longer to graduate and are far more likely to drop out.Doesn't surprise me. What happens when the capital improvements are to the athletics fields?
The study does not indicate the specific places where these higher-income students grew up. But the income data suggest that many come from suburban communities whose schools did not prepare them for college-level work. Part of the problem is that high schools offer a rigorous curriculum for relatively few students and often use a grading system that masks underperformance.All the more reason, particularly where public monies are concerned, for the universities to identify the high school districts sending their graduates to remediation, and for the universities to send the high schools a bill for having to provide the do-overs.
Wealthier districts have been strongholds of the movement against standardized testing and the Common Core learning standards, which have been adopted by more than 40 states and set ambitious goals for what students should learn as they move through school.
As the study notes, many elected officials, parents and teachers have become complacent about the quality of their schools. This complacency is making it harder for the country to build the kind of education system it needs — one that provides high-level instruction for all children.