Wracked with frustration over the state's legions of unprepared high school graduates, the California State University system next summer will force freshmen with remedial needs to brush up on math or English before arriving on campus...Yes, it's that bad. And while we can point the fingers at the local East Bay K-12 system and say they're not doing their job, that's not reason enough to compel taxpayers like me to foot the bill for these unprepared students to attend a university.
"I'm not at all optimistic that it's going to help," said Sally Murphy, a communications professor who directs general education at Cal State East Bay, where 73 percent of this year's freshmen were not ready for college math. Nearly 60 percent were not prepared for college English.
Sadly, though, CSU isn't even considering requiring students to go learn what they failed in 13 years of K-12 education to learn. No, they're only requiring a 15-hr online intervention that conceivably will give students enough knowledge, for just enough time, to pass a test which, miraculously, says they're now OK for the university. I would send them to JC and tell them to learn the material.
We're talking about getting a university degree here. Shouldn't that mean something? I got a math degree, but I can also talk intelligently about history, about (some of) the classics, about philosophy, about geography, about the military. I can write coherently. A well-rounded education should be the standard, not the pipe-dream, but we'll never get there as long as we continue to accept underqualified students into our universities and then allow them to earn degrees in narrow fields without the benefits of a liberal arts education.
I often hear about universities or courses that are "impacted", meaning there are too many students for the seats available. Getting rid of un(der)qualified students should solve that problem nicely.