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End The Remedial Education Scam

By Professor Doom


Student: ďI didnít do the homework because I donít have the book. The loan checks havenít come in yet.Ē

Me: ďNo problem. Take out your phone, and take a picture of the relevant pages from my textbook.Ē

--I often get students so unwilling to risk anything on their education that they wonít buy the textbook until they get the money for it handed to them first. Itís possible they just donít have the money, but they commonly have the money for very expensive cell phones and service, not to mention cars and insurance. These complaints can go on for weeks into the semester, until the checks arrive. Then the complaints, and some of my students, disappear. Admin gets their cut first, so doesnít really care, as long as they donít have to field complaints from uppity faculty trying to do an honest job.

So last time I gave the primary reason for no longer giving college loan money for remedial students: college loans should be for college work. Thatís probably not obvious enough for college administration, so allow me to present other reasons we need to stop this.

Remedial coursework is something that most every college-age student has already seen, and ignored, half a dozen times or more in public school. Having already demonstrated an unwillingness to learn the material, the burden should be on the student to show heís had a change of heart. This is also material that has already been paid for, at great expense, in the secondary (and often primary) school system through taxes. Thereís no reason the taxpayers need to pay for it twice or more accurately ďhalf a dozen plus oneĒ times, in the case of students that failed to learn in the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades before going on to college. This material is what a child can learn with a little help, and an adult not wanting to pay for coursework can easily go to the library and read, if he was serious, or go to private tutoring services if he needs to. A serious student without a learning disability can usually pick up this material in a matter of weeks, not months, while a non-serious student will never do so, despite the passing grade administration forces faculty to give them. The learning disabled shouldnít be afflicted with a lifetime of debt in any event.


ďI dropped out of college with $10,000 in loans. I havenít been able to make but a few payments in the last ten years. Now I owe almost $30,000. Even if I start making payments, which I canít, itíll take another ten years to pay it off. I have to go back to college, get a degree and get me a good job. Iíll pass developmental math this time. I have to.Ē

--A student does the math. Almost. PT Barnum was amazed at the number of people, after being tricked by The Great Egress sign, would pay admission AGAIN just to come back in and complain to him about it. Some percentage of them probably got fooled by The Great Egress sign again on their way out.

Finally, this material isnít ďhigherĒ education, and so itís very questionable that a student should be charged as much for it as for any college course. Unfortunately, a loan makes the price much more than just the base cost. If the course is paid for via loan money, the student is actually paying more like three times as much over the decades it takes to pay it back, for material that should be cheaper to learn. Again, integrity is an issue here. Itís simply wrong to do this to those least able to understand how theyíre being triple-charged on an already inflated price.

College administrators will screech how this would be denying those most in need of improvement, but the intellectual honesty of such complaints can be easily exposed: administrators that honestly feel this way should be welcome to donate their salaries, reducing them to say, adjunct levels, with the money going to remedial students as a grant towards their remedial education. If a significant number of administrators do this, then this point of view will be re-opened. Iíll happily teach extra remedial courses for minimal pro-rated pay based on administrators sacrificing all but $15,000 a year or so of their salary and benefits. Working for people with this kind of integrity and dedication to education (i.e., the people that should be running higher education, unlike today) would motivate me to do the same.

I know, fat chance of that. Now, Iím not the first to notice, and complain, that all weíre doing with our resources is trying to cram remedial knowledge into people that have no interest in learning. Administration knows that scam has to end soon, and is already working to change the scam so that these suckers will have even less chance of escaping the trap.

Luckily, my fixes have already put up a roadblock to typical administrative chicanery, but weíll cover that soon.



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