State broke it; now should fix it

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Legislature shouldn’t place developmental responsibility on colleges.

For most of a student’s academic career prior to college, they are taught to score well on tests.

Don’t blame teachers for teaching to a test.

Students learn to answer test questions, but fail to be prepared for college.

So it’s no wonder that a third of students who are not ready for college English and writing fail their first college-level class, and 16 percent of those who are not ready for college math fail their first college-level class.

After years of cutting education budgets, the state of Texas expects colleges to spend valuable resources teaching academic skills that should have been mastered in high school.

Here’s an idea, how about making sure high school students, regardless of their background, are properly prepared before it becomes the college’s problem to fix?

Obviously, a test is not the answer.

Developmental courses should be for people who have come back to college after years away or students who didn’t finish high school.

They should not be for such a large percentage of the entering student population.

Today more than ever, a college degree or trade school training is required if a student is to have any hope of success in life.

Those handicapped by the state’s lowered standards are not prepared for the next stage of life.

So why should student failure in these courses fall to the colleges to fix?

It is the state’s failure to learn from its mistakes that has created such a need for these developmental courses.

Restore funding, lose the standardized tests and institute a proper curriculum from which students emerge college ready.

Then if we still need them, we can have a discussion about what to do about developmental courses.

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