Letters to the Editor: 9-12-14

While on the surface multiple ACT subject scores below the mark of 11 may seem absurdly below the academic standards of the University, consider, for a moment, exactly what should occur in the College Readiness Program (CRP).

Students with scores this low in one subject are likely to have one or more issues. Among these issues: test anxiety, low self-esteem and poor high school instruction.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve second-guessed myself out of the right answer and ended up getting an exam problem wrong. A person with test anxiety would likely be dealing with this issue numerous times on each question. We could put these things listed above aside and count all of these students in the group that your article puts them in and then deftly hides.

In short, the semantic value of your opinion implies that these students are too stupid for college. “Go away kid, you’re bothering me,” is the black-and-white cartoon caricature I have in mind after reading how these students are “not prepared.” I expect that this is the thing the CRP is supposed to counter: the perception of stupidity.

In reaching your opinion, did you even consider a measure for success of the CRP, let alone evaluate the CRP on that measure?

It takes a special instructor to work with students that are “not prepared” for college. It would take an instructor that isn’t willing to give up the fight for a student that the system says is a lost cause. The teacher of these students must be willing to ignore the comments about stupidity regarding their students in order to lift them up.

Instructors in the CRP must not only teach these students, but advocate for them, cheer for them and make them understand that they are greater than a number on a piece of paper produced by some arrogant, egotistical, socialite examiner that doesn’t know one iota of the confrontations faced by these students and social groups on a daily basis.

And even after graduation, students from the CRP have been implied stupid by educational elitists for so long, they may never get over it. For students in the CRP that read this article, I ask on behalf of these editors: “Forgive them, they know not what they do.” Show them how wrong they are!

All the best in all you do while staying true,

 

Letter from Stanley Jointer, Assistant professor of computer science