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Nearly 40 percent of students at two-year schools and a quarter of those at four-year schools failed to complete their remedial classes, that report found.
Thousands of similarly skilled young men and women are accepted into major universities every year—high school graduates whose writing abilities just aren’t up to par.
I could continue filling your brain with testimonials and data and examples.
“If we’ve been giving kids worksheets with simplistic answers for years,” she says, “and then get upset when they can’t write a five-paragraph essay or recognize subject-verb agreement, that’s not the kids.
That’s us.”Arriving on campus is no assurance of success for incoming freshmen who need basic writing courses but aren’t necessarily getting them.
After asking to see lesson plans for the sections in which English graduate students taught undergraduate composition, Fish found that in almost every section, “students spent much of their time discussing novels, movies, TV shows and essays on a variety of hot-button issues — racism, sexism, immigration, globalization.”Of the 104 sections, only four emphasized grammar, rhetoric, and the craft of writing well.
Some time ago, a friend came into possession of a freshman English paper and shared it with me.But good writing, for many freshmen, may pose the biggest challenge of all.Professors want to see concise, coherent and well-reasoned writing assignments.But despite the difficulty of comparison, many states have strikingly high remediation rates in their public colleges and universities. At many public schools in the state, it’s uncommon for an incoming student to be placed in remedial education.At Baltimore City Community College, for instance, in the fall of 2015, only 13 percent of students were deemed ready to start on college-level math and English courses right away, according to data provided by the school.Sadly, it serves to reinforce the statistics and testimonials that only too frequently cross my desk.From start to finish, this student’s essay on William Blake’s “The Tyger” is riddled with errors: This student represents a mere drop in a very full bucket.Higher education institutions across the country are forced to spend time, money and energy to solve this disconnect.They must determine who’s not ready for college and attempt to get those students up to speed as quickly as possible, or risk losing them altogether.The true total is likely much higher because of inconsistencies in the way states track this data that may not capture adults returning to school or part-time students.Some states report numbers for the entire student body, while others limit their data to incoming students.