Archive for Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Committee adopts bill that prohibits state funding of remedial courses at public colleges

March 14, 2012


— A House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would prohibit state funds from being used for remedial courses at Kansas University and other public colleges.

The measure, House Bill 2745, which was proposed by House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, would also cut from 10 percent to 5 percent the number of freshman class or transfer admissions allowed under the “exception window,” meaning they don’t meet minimum admissions standards.

The measure was recommended for approval by the Appropriations Committee and will next go to the full House.

State Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, opposed it, saying that remedial courses are often needed to help college students who may be returning to school after years of not attending school, or are the first members of their family to attend school, or simply need help with a specific subject, such as math.

But state Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, said the bill will put the responsibility on parents to make sure their children take college-bound courses in high school.

KU officials say they offer one remedial course in math.

In all six regents schools, approximately 14.5 percent of the entering freshman class take a remedial course, according to state figures.

Under the bill, the schools could still offer remedial courses but could not receive state funding for them.

Reducing the exception window would probably affect only a few schools.

In the 2010-11 academic year, 15,810 Kansas residents were admitted as freshmen in regents universities, and 711, or 4.5 percent, of those were admitted through the exception window, according to the state.

Of the six regents schools, three exceeded 5 percent in the number of freshman students admitted as exceptions: Emporia State, 8.1 percent; Pittsburg State, 7.1 percent; and Fort Hays State, 6.8 percent. Kansas State was a 3.7 percent; Wichita State at 1.6 percent; and KU had the lowest rate of admitting students under the exception at 0.4 percent.


hyperinflate 6 years, 3 months ago

"would also cut from 10 percent to 5 percent the number of freshman class or transfer admissions allowed under the "exception window," meaning they don't meet minimum admissions standards."

What effect will this have on our football team?

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

An enormous amount of money would be saved if remedial courses in reading in the Community Colleges in Kansas were also prohibited from receiving state funds. Or at least, be prohibited from receiving state funds for teaching college students that are from out of state how to read, and are here in Kansas on a football scholarship that was paid for by the generosity of the taxpayers of Kansas.

I know someone who teaches remedial reading at a Community College, and almost all, if not all, of the students that are enrolled in the remedial reading classes are from out of state, but are receiving Kansas funds for the football scholarships that allow them to attend a Community College in the first place.

Most of the remedial reading students at that Community College are at a 10th grade or lower reading level, and as I understand it, one student was at about a 4th grade reading level, but had somehow managed to graduate from high school anyway. That's the "No student left behind" policy in action.

It doesn't happen very often, but every once in a great while, like every couple years, one of the students that received Kansas funds for a football scholarship and also was a remedial reading student actually graduates from that Community College. When that happens, the remedial reading teachers that taught him how to read in college never miss that graduation ceremony.

A whole lot of the remedial reading students drop out right after football season, before the semester even ends, and go back to their home state because they are flunking out. Very few attend for a second year of Community College. But, at least they tried. A few of them did, sort of anyway.

It's a good thing I'm not naming any names, huh?

I think I have an idea how the money that might not be collected by a sales tax on food in the state of Kansas could be easily made up for.

Actually, there has been some discussion on this topic among the remedial reading teachers at that Community College. They are very aware that if it became generally known among the lawmakers in Topeka what is really going on, they would be out of a job.

I have to laugh a little bit at one of the questions that the remedial reading teacher that I know was asked by one of her college students, and he was serious.

"Why does the sun always rise in the east?"

Jan Rolls 6 years, 3 months ago

George is 35 and has been working since he left high school. He got laid off when the company he worked for went out of business. He decided on a career change and wants to go to college in kansas. He is going to need some remedial classes. He will be a freshman. Will he be make the 5% list? Why in the heck would any on these jerks care about George after all he's not rich so he doesn't count. What a bunch of s*.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Help George read this, it was clipped from:

There are two main ways for you to prepare for the (GED) exam: you can study independently or take a preparation class.

Studying independently may not be the best first choice because you don't have a teacher's guidance and feedback. Still, some preparation is better than no preparation. Go to your local library and use their study materials. Otherwise, purchase study materials online, at a local bookstore, or find GED preparation and practice test websites.

Taking a preparation class is recommended when studying for the GED exam. Many adult education centers around Kansas provide free classes. The following link from the Kansas board of regents gives you a list of preparation classes around Kansas:

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Seriously though, if he can read at maybe the 9th grade level, he can get into a Community College, and they'll give him all the remedial classes he needs.

If he can't read at the 9th grade level by now, he really needs to consider vo-tech school instead.

Ragingbear 6 years, 3 months ago

Once again we see the Republicans waging class warfare to try to keep the lower income brackets stupid.

hyperinflate 6 years, 3 months ago

thus ensuring they will continue to vote these selfsame Republicans back into power.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 3 months ago

Mike O'Neal needs a course in remedial humanity.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes, you're right, and Kansas needs to raise taxes to help people that were not paying attention in high school to learn to read and do mathematics.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 3 months ago

Ah, the overweening hubris of the disappointed progressive, "the only reason people disagree with me is because they are stupid".

hyperinflate 6 years, 3 months ago

Ah, the overwhelming hubris of the disappointed teabagger - "I don't want brown people to have any of the advantages that I demand for myself"

kernal 6 years, 3 months ago

Sometime in the not too distant past, there were articles about some KS rural school districts not having the financial means or teachers to adequately prep students for college. Some of them consolidated their districts hoping that would solve the problem. From what I've heard, there was improvement in a couple of districts, but not all.

What's the scoop on that KS legislators? Also wonder if any of them send their kids to private school or school out of their own district to a better district.

kuguardgrl13 6 years, 3 months ago

At KU, Math 002 (the remedial course they refer to) is most often taught by undergraduate math majors or other students who have taken higher level math courses and are deemed capable of teaching the class. So they're not cutting funding for a professor's paycheck, but they are taking away the opportunity for competent students to earn some money. With the lack of student jobs for work study and non-work study already, this seems like a silly idea.

BigDog 6 years, 3 months ago

An enormous amount of money would be saved if remedial courses in reading in the Community Colleges in Kansas were also prohibited from receiving state funds. Or at least, be prohibited from receiving state funds for teaching college students that are from out of state how to read, and are here in Kansas on a football scholarship that was paid for by the generosity of the taxpayers of Kansas.

Ron - Athletic scholarships are not paid for by the "taxpayers of Kansas." Athletic scholarships are paid for by athletic departments. Athletic departments get their funds from donors, ticket sales, outside contracts (Nike or another shoe/clothing manufacturer) (media). They then pay the university for the tuition for the athlete.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

That does not correspond at all with what I was told by a member of the faculty of the Community College that I was referring to. I was specifically told that the funds for the scholarships are all funded by the State of Kansas, and very few are awarded to students from Kansas.

Donors? There can't be very many there, no way.

Ticket sales? At what, $3 a pop for maybe 300 spectators? That is a very big turnout for a game there. They maybe get that many for a homecoming game, but other than that, I don't think they usually get nearly that many. The bleachers there would be full up with maybe 1,000 spectators.

Outside contracts? Then why aren't there ever any advertisements for any of their products? Besides, these students nor the people attending the events could not afford to buy them anyway.

You mentioned "university". This institution is not a university in any sense of the word.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

And, you mentioned "media". I don't think the games they play are broadcast on the radio, let alone television. But, the winners of the football games and the scores are announced in the local newspaper the next week. They can't be published any sooner than that, because the local paper there only comes out once a week.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Oh, you also said this: "They then pay the university for the tuition for the athlete."

These students get their room and board paid for also.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

The situation wouldn't bother me much at all if it was restricted to only residents of Kansas to give our home kids a break. But no, they bring in kids from all over the U.S. that can hardly read at all, and there is no possible way many or most of them would ever be able to pass a Kansas GED exam.

For starters, you do need to know that the sun always rises in the east.

It's my opinion that if a person cannot pass a standard GED exam, he should not try to attend college until he has done some studying until he can at least do that.

pace 6 years, 3 months ago

First cutting funds to public schools, then if the poor kids make it to college, block them from making up a course they didn't even get offered in high school. Tax cuts for the wealthy, health care for the wealthy, now education for the wealthy. It will make us a third world country with first world billionaires. But labor costs will dive. High unemployment is great for the bosses, bad for labor. We can hire the technically skilled from countries who do support their education systems. Our kids can work for them.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Did you read the article? Almost all high schools actually do offer at least one class in mathematics. That was the only subject that was mentioned.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 3 months ago

It's called a university ( yoo-ni-verse-it-tee). As in universal. From career changes to refresher courses to any circumstances at all, remedial courses are pretty valuable. Also, what kuguardgirl13 said. People always get so wonky about cost of things. Whaddya gonna do with all your less than guaranteed massive tax savings? Sit home on an imaginary pile of extra money because there aren't any services to spend it on? I like value for my tax dollar as much as the next guy, but criminy, if you're gonna take the money, gimme some service value once in a while. Remedial courses are on my list of values along with public broadcasting. I do like pie. Make mine peach today.

Deb Engstrom 6 years, 3 months ago

My son completed community college with a below 3rd grade reading level. It's called dyslexia. However if you read to him or he hears the content on tape, he comprehends at grade level. Even though he used accommodations for his disability, he still took the remedial classes because they offered support and strategies. Students use these courses for a variety of purposes.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 3 months ago

Everyone is very different, and I think that's a good thing. The problem is that very few people make allowances for people that are different from themselves.

I have a disability myself, but it may not be apparent on this forum. I have a severe case of ADHD, as well as other issues, and when attending classes, especially in grade school and high school, I could not understand anything at all that the teacher said while trying to teach from the front of the class. The reason was that by the time he got to the end of a sentence, I could not remember what the beginning of it was because he was talking far, far too slowly. And, if he talked fast enough and enunciated clearly enough for me to understand him, almost everyone else in the class would be left in the dust.

Needless to say, my grades were always very low. But since my native ability in abstract reasoning, my reading speed, and my comprehension level and memory was and still is phenomenal, and since I was always so busy reading so many books that were far beyond my grade level all the time, many people were very shocked when they saw the results of my achievement tests. And they were even more shocked when they compared them to my grades.

Even today, it is extremely difficult for me to understand anything that is read out loud to me. But, when presented with text in a book or on a computer screen, I have no problems at all.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

Good points, Ron. Not all of us fit the same cookie cutter, which is the essential problem with factory inspired schools and universities.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

Maybe the Ivy league schools can take some of these kids. Remedial courses at universities are nearly universal, even in the 'elite' schools. Dumb move, but what can you expect from this bunch?

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