Not Ready for College LO7067

Marion Brady (
Tue, 30 Apr 1996 07:54:03 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO7049 --

>>From our local news rag. Here is a campus-by-campus breakdown for the
>California State University system of the percentage of freshmen
>considered not ready for college work in 1994. Students were assessed by

When statistics are published indicating reprehensible student
performance in math and English, what generally happens is that it merely
creates pressure to "do more" of the same thing--to "cover the material"
more intensively, or spend more time on it, or devise new approaches to
What _doesn't_ happen is the raising of fundamental questions
about the whole thrust of such efforts, particularly the treating of these
kinds of skills as ends in themselves rather than as means to the ends of
understanding the human condition. The "learn this because that's what
you're s'posed to do" or "because you're going to need it sometime in the
future" just doesn't cut it like it used to, or as it still does in some
other cultures. Most students probably couldn't articulate the reason(s)
for the lack of attention and commitment that translate into poor
performance, but I have no doubt that the extent to which much traditional
school work can't even be defended as critically important by those who
teach it, is sensed by students.
Subjects taught in isolation from each other and from life as it's
being lived at the very moment probably deserve about as much commitment
as they get. If education is going to be driven by testing, we need far
more sophisticated tests than those presently in use.

Marion Brady



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