Economic Analysis of Remedial Education and How it Illustrates Failures of US K-12 Institutions

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INTRODUCTION Education is an important part of one’s life. It can shape a student’s identity, challenge his biases, and encourage him to be inquisitorial and entrepreneurial in his thinking. Education can also push a student through institutions only to ascertain that he meets some minimum standard. Modern day high schools are graduating students in record numbers (Richmond 2013) , but the prevalence of remediation in higher education illustrates the structural failure of American public schools to effectively, adequately, and equitably educate students, especially indigent student populations (Strong American Schools). As such, this issue requires serious public policy consideration. LITERATURE REVIEW The Diploma to Nowhere report by…show more content…
The four-year colleges do not admit remedial students, whereas the community colleges are “required by charter to accept every New York City high school graduate who applies.” While the city lauds rising enrollment rates as “evidence of its improved performance” CUNY’s community colleges have had to “double their annual spending on remediation in just a decade, to $33 million.” Kamenev touches on the role of teachers and how remedial classes cheapen the role of college professors to “de facto high school teachers.” Laura Diamond, reports in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that nearly 23,000 Georgians enter college unprepared and have to take “learning support” classes. Up to $22 million is spent in state annually on these remedial courses (Diamond 2010). Remedial course credit does not “count toward diploma requirements” and only about 25% of remedial students in Georgia “earn a bachelor’s degree within six years.” Some, like Representative Earl Erhart, head of the Georgia House committee that oversees college budgets, do not sugar coat the situation. Ehrhart said, " has become a continuation of the K-12 education [these students] never received, and that is not what a college education is supposed to be." ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEM Public education in America has transformed over time from Horace Mann’s Common School to the

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