Issues with Remediality and Falling Behind

The crossroad between complete failure and success,
It’s so necessary you pay attention in class
Never tell you the conditions in which to apply to math
Only 65% of your peers freshman year are still here
And half that total will move on
But three out of four will drop out in two years
Add it up and it equals some shit has gone wrong - Geologic, Blue Scholars

After having once been an honors math student, I finished high school kind of behind in my math skill building, placing in Precalculus. "Behind" is a term of relativity And my high school was/is the type where 99% of the graduates went to a 4-year university.

Part of the reason I avoided math, throughout high school, I didn't want to be stuck in the "remediality" of precalculus at UC-Santa Cruz. Of course I knew it wasn't remedial and taught all that I would need to know for the next level, but it felt like punishment for not getting it right the first time.

Punishment is exactly what the remedial classes sound like in this NY Times Article, which draws a link between remedial classes and community college drop-out rates.

More than a million college freshmen across the nation must take remedial courses each year, and many drop out before getting a degree. Poorly run public schools are a part of the problem, but so is a disconnect between high schools and colleges.

BTW, the high school drop out rate in LA reached 34.9%!

Based on my own experience and these stats, my hunch says that there is an explicit and implicit pressure on "failure" and "being behind." Like I said earlier, it seems like a punishment for not doing something earlier. As mentioned in the article, it's a double kick to the shins that you don't even "earn" credits for "remedial" classes. Nobody wants to really hear that they're behind, yet again. And if they are, why bother if you're not really sure you're going to get a pay off from what seems like a "swimming against the tide"?

Under that pressure, students are saying "fuck it" and not going through with anything.

As I have been reading in articles about the consumerist-mindset that has pervaded and perverted the student mindset:

As Rinehart (1993) argues, "Students cannot be considered the primary customer of education for the purpose of educational quality, for this simple reason: students have no conception of what they must learn; they are, after all, students" (p. 59).

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