Academic journal article Research & Teaching in Developmental Education


Academic journal article Research & Teaching in Developmental Education


Article excerpt

From the Merriam- Webster dictionary:

* Remediation: the act or process of remedying

* Remedy: something that corrects or counteracts

* Developmental: designed to assist growth or bring about improvement (Merriam- Webster dictionary)

The State University of New York (SUNY) has announced its intention to "eliminate remediation." The reason for this has been put front and center - the cost. "SUNY spends $70 million a year in remediation. All of SUNY's ag/tech campuses combined receive $63.6 million in state support. This means, for SUNY students alone, the state is spending more on remediating its high school students than it is on supporting 8 entire college campuses. The Chancellor has invited K- 12 leaders through the state to partner with SUNY in eliminating the need for remediation over the next decade" (

This initiative is clearly based on the assumptions that:

* every student will be able to benefit from remediation at the primary and secondary level

* the only students who use remediation in SUNY are recent high school graduate

* the only students who will be attending SUNY institutions, once remediation is removed, are students without skills deficits

Developmental educators see their students, not as broken and in need of fixing, but rather as people with strengths who are travelling along a path of growth and improvement. It is incumbent such educators to ask the hard questions:

* Is it to be assumed that all the students who have remedial needs can be "remedied" through this push downwards? Students who "awaken" to their academic potential once high school is over cannot return to participate in the remediation at the high school level and must, therefore, look to third level institutions to future their education.

* What will happen to students who have not been through this "remediation" at the primary and secondary level? Students who dropped out, took the GED or pursued an alternative route, arrive at the college level needing help to bridge the gap between a haphazard high school experience and college level work. …

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