Archive for Monday, March 26, 2012

Statehouse Live: Measure defunding remedial courses at universities advances in House

March 26, 2012

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— The state House on Monday advanced legislation that prohibits state funds from being used for remedial courses at Kansas University and other public colleges.

It 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 need minimum admission standards.

A final vote on the measure, sponsored by House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, is expected Tuesday.

KU offers one remedial course, intermediate algebra, which has an average of 900 students each fall.

State Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, spoke against the bill, saying many students often need remedial math, including those who have been out of a school for a while.

State Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence, said, "I dare say that most of us couldn't do college level algebra at this point of our lives without remedial help."

The other part of the bill cuts in half the number of students admitted under the exception window. 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.

State Rep. Kasha Kelley, R-Arkansas City, said students who need remedial help or haven't achieved minimum standards would probably do better to attend a community college or technical school. State Rep. John Grange, R-El Dorado, succeeded in putting in an amendment that would exclude military veterans from being counted as those students admitted through the exception window.

Comments

chootspa 3 years, 3 months ago

Hopefully the senate has enough legislators capable of basic math and able to understand how terrible this idea is. Sheesh.

starburst 3 years, 3 months ago

Twenty-plus years ago, my cousin entered KU taking the remedial algebra class because she was not very good in that subject area. She had graduated with honors from the Shawnee Mission School District and she was a phenomenal writer. She went on to earn a journalism degree from KU and a law degree from Michigan. I guess members of our state legislature don't understand that not everyone is good in every subject. Let's test them to see how they all perform on these same measures!

kernal 3 years, 3 months ago

If were a paranoid person, I'd be wondering if this is another nail in the coffin for rural Kansas.

The rural school districts have struggled for years and our state legislature is cutting back funding on education, which will affect the quality of education for students out in the rural areas, making it harder for them to compete for college scholarships and entry to four year universities. And now the people rural Kansans elected are the same people who want to do away with remedial courses at KU, although not all school districts have the money to prep students for KU and K-State. What I see happening is more people leaving rural areas and more corporate farming taking over in KS. Now, ask yourselves who that would make happy?

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 3 months ago

I remember the line from Caddyshack where the judge told the caddy "the world needs ditch diggers too." The GOP is launching a full on assault against everyone who doesn't measure up to their standards. At least college freshman read some of what is placed in front of them. The same can't be said for this legislature.

tazdiva 3 years, 3 months ago

Why would the legislature decide to do away with a class that is so needed by college students. I am one of those students that needed to take the remedial algebra course when I returned to school. Without that course, I know I'd have never made it through the remainder of my math requirements. I successfully survived those courses and got my Bachelors degree. Now I'm only two semesers away from my Masters. Kasha, I don't believe I could have gotten either from a community or technical college.

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

Oh, my dear Perses, you expect reasoning? We live in Oz, remember?

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. At least not the Kansas of a few years ago that was progressive, sensible and moderate. You know, when Kathleen Sebelius was governor and preceding that for a very long time.

chootspa 3 years, 3 months ago

The plan as I see it is a move to decrease enrollment at KU while also decreasing their public funding. If you can make it seem like public schools shouldn't be publicly funded, you can force them to rely on more and more grants from private entities - and influence. See what the Kochs did in Florida: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/billionaires-role-in-hiring-decisions-at-florida-state-university-raises/1168680

It has the bonus of not doing a darned thing to prevent the rich from going to school. Just the middle and lower class.

You can also use moves like this to argue that public schools need to be privatized by pointing out how "more and more" high school graduates aren't qualified for admissions. All around win, brought to you by the long term strategies at ALEC. Their agenda has unapologetically been to starve public education by any means necessary.

mom_of_three 3 years, 3 months ago

Kasha Kelly's comment comes from a clueless individual.
This is NOT basic math. This is to prep for college algebra - advanced math. NOT everyone is good at Math. And if someone went to community college because they weren't good at only math would be so BORED in every other subject. That's not fair or right either.

chootspa 3 years, 3 months ago

Not all courses at a community college are remedial or boring. That said, I don't want to see someone being told to go to a school too far away or being told that they have to transfer in when all they really need is a single refresher on one topic.

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