Who's Ready for College?

Conservatives want to get rid of remedial education. If so, only two-thirds of today's freshmen need apply

Should you be allowed into college if you don't read well enough to understand your local paper? What if you can't reliably write a complete sentence? It may seem obvious that students lacking such basic skills could barely survive high school, much less college, but even students who have trouble reading routinely get into college. In fact, more than 600,000 of the freshmen who arrived at U.S. colleges this fall--remarkably, 29% of the total--are taking at least one remedial reading, writing or math class. Taxpayers spend approximately $1 billion a year on the classes.

Such course work varies in difficulty, but...

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