We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have never understood how higher ed got into the business of remedial education because it is about high school- level work. I suppose we all know why colleges accept kids who cannot do some high school-level tasks.
If you can not produce a grammatical, coherent, and well-structured essay, or do trig and pre-calc, you are likely not ready for a higher ed curriculum. Sensibly, a North Carolina pilot project is moving remediation to the high schools. At that point, it's not remediation, just more high school.
The high school where I did my student teaching for a second career in math education had once offered two diplomas: a regular diploma which was basically for attendance; and a "guaranteed" diploma that certified the recipient was capable of college level work. The law of unintended consequences dictated that very soon thereafter, a holder of such a diploma flunked out of college (not for goofing off, I'm sure) and his lawyer Dad sued the school district. Dad won, and the district had to pay for private tutoring to bring son up to speed. The next step will be to push them back into middle school. After all, how many college graduates can perform sixth grade math?
"I have never understood how higher ed got into the business of remedial education because it is about high school- level work."
I can. I lived it. I decided to go back to college several years after flunking out of the first school I attended. I was very rusty in trig/algebra and composition. I would never have gotten an engineering degree w/o remedial classes.
That doesn't excuse it for shiny new HS grads, but it shows there is a purpose. It just shouldn't have such high attendance numbers.
As the BA became the credential that people needed to get work that did not necessarily need 16 years of education, the pressure to get that piece of paper not only drove colleges to accept students, but drove the government to promise loans so that people would have "opportunity." No one group to blame, just perverse incentives.
Assistant Village Idiot