Joe Bagnoli graduated from Ashland Holy Family High School with a 3.7 grade-point average and with A's in four years of college preparatory math courses -- algebra I and II, geometry and trigonometry.
So it didn't add up when he took a placement exam as a Berea College freshman in 1984 and learned that he wasn't quite prepared for college math. It took one hard week of work in a remedial math course for Bagnoli to get caught up.
Welcome to the real world, Joe. Your K-12 school(s) were long on lofty rhetoric and short on actual math teaching. But, being prepared to do college level math is the acid test. Calculus and Physics will test how well your school taught you algebra and basic math. If you don't understand algebra and haven't developed a good degree of automaticity in it, you won't be able to apply all that algebra in solving calculus and physics problems. Oh, and by the way, you'll be learning a lot of calculus and physics at the same time, not leaving you with much time to re-learn algebra.
So, how widespread is the problem today?
Currently, 53 percent of entering students at the state's public universities and community and technical colleges need at least one remedial course, according to a recent report from the state Council on Postsecondary Education. The report also showed that 44 percent are not ready for college math, 32 percent are not prepared for college English and 25 percent do not have college-level reading skill.
Pretty widespread, I'd say. So, what's the problem?
"What we do is developmental education because students are developing basic skills that are needed for success," she said. "It's nothing remedial because there's nothing about these students that needs to be fixed. They are not broken. They need preparation."
The basic skills of college are the higher order skills of K-12. But, when you get right down to it it's all basic skills to somebody. Know enough basic skills and sooner or later when only a small segment of the population has those skills, we start calling them higher order skills. But, they're only basic skills to the guy on the next level.
Anyway, read the whole thing.