Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

Ban on Remedial Education at CUNY Still in Doubt

Academic journal article Journal of Developmental Education

Ban on Remedial Education at CUNY Still in Doubt

Article excerpt

Since the proposal was first introduced to ban remedial education at the City University of New York's four-year colleges, it has been contested by students, professors, members of the community, and even the courts. Now the proposal is being contested by the New York State board of regents.

The board of trustees at CUNY adopted a resolution last spring to phase out all remedial education in the system's eleven four-year colleges over three years, beginning in fall 1999. Under the proposal, students who do not pass any of three skills-assessment tests in reading comprehension, essay writing, and mathematics will not be admitted and will be sent to a CUNY community college or elsewhere "to obtain such remediation services."

Critics complain that the CUNY community college system is already so crowded that students are drawn from a lottery, that the institutions are staffed mainly by part-time faculty, and that the curriculums are often ineffectual. Students who start at these institutions are far less likely to go on to four-year colleges and are therefore destined to suffer in the job market. And the ban would most hurt the already disadvantaged-new immigrants and poor students who make up the bulk of enrollment.

Although the CUNY trustees say they adopted the resolution to boost standards for one of the nation's most prominent urban universities and to get students to take their education more seriously, the state regents say that many issues must be carefully examined before such a measure can be justified. The regents have asked CUNY to document how it would shift staff, money, facilities, and faculty contracts to meet the new demand at the community colleges. …

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