Another article

Posted on May 28, 2021


Note the first paragraph: let to “gains in access.”

Access isn’t equity, last I heard.

They changed placement rules and more people had access!! (Not saying this is a bad thing, just thinking that it being “remarkable” is interesting.)

Okay, now to the actual success insaid courses: 61% ofall students taking English first time successfully completed a gateway course in one term. (It doesn’t say what it was before.)

40% of all students taking math for the first time did so. … “more than double” fall of 2015. Folks, ***still fewer than half. ***

Overall, success in gateway courses increased about 20 to 25 percentage points for all racial and ethnic groups. Again, if it’s still fewer than half…. instead of telling me that 31000 more students successfully completed gateway math… can we at least acknoweldge the students — these are people, not numbers — who didn’t?

Their take on why equity gaps persist?
Numero uno: ACCESS. Heaven forfend, many students are STILL signing up for those heinous REMEDIAL courses. Here’s an interesting tidbit: “Showing students examples of math problems they might see in transfer-level courses, along with other self-assessments, reduces students’ chances of enrolling directly in gateway courses.”

So… people are intimidated by these things. It’s their confidence – the article says they’re signing up for remedial “even when they could be successful in transfer-level courses.”

Here’s my question: might it also be possible that … the improvements happened because yes, more students signed up for the ‘gateway’ courses — you said so! even though some didn’t! — and … *those* were, in fact, the students more likely to succeed, so they did (even though many of them didn’t)?

So far we are utterly and completely ignoring the possibility that the students don’t have a good enough math background to succeed, or that teaching methods might contribute.

Okay, now to faculty and staff interviews: “not all students were getting the academic and student supports they needed to be able to succeed.”

I know lots of places grab these stats and say SEE WE DON”T NEED DEVELOPMENTAL and … yea, they kinda forget about how much support you need to get from “access” to actually passing the courses…

Okay, at least now there is talk about “culturally relevant pedagogy” and things to keep students interested, ” a collaborative learning environment; “productive struggle;” an equity-centered teaching approach that addresses faculty members’ unconscious biases; and the affective domain—strategies that help students acquire skills like time management, study skills, goal setting, and the ability to seek services and supports, which they need to be a successful college student.”

Still nothing about the students who’ve got the diploma and don’t know their times tables or understand proportions….

A nice paragraph about cultivating the belief that all students can succeed…

Now we get to “corequisite support.” It notes that most colleges offer them, but fewer than 20% of students sign up for them. (Hey! This subject you hate? Take it twice! Pay more… ) It also notes “Moreover, 61% of African American, 55% of Latino, 37% of White, and 31% of Asian first-time math students who enrolled in a gateway course without corequisite support in fall 2019 did not successfully complete the course—higher than in previous terms.”

Hmmm. Hmmm. They suggest steps be taken to get students into the corequisite courses…require them, get advisors to push harder…

,,, so another article about Policies and Practices that doesn’t address…. whether the folks understand math or not. Hint: Most don’t understand math.