okteacher, 6/29/2011 - 11:38am "In support of j17564's comment:
I have worked in k-12 education and taught freshman English at OU. The sad reality regarding "Pre-College English" is that there are students who are continually passed through each grade without ever really mastering the fundamental skills to survive at the next level. I have seen high schoolers struggling to read at a 5th grade level, and I have seen college freshmen who literally didn't know how to use a period (though the latter was a small number, it was still too high for the college level). The criticism shouldn't be leveled at the university for providing a stepping stone for those unprepared for the demands of college. Instead, we should look at the issues with Oklahoma's education more holistically and ask why this stepping stone is even necessary.
Also, on a separate issue--the most glaring issue with this article (and there are many...) is the absolute lack of research. It looks like Dutcher spent 5 minutes skimming the OU Intersession catalogue and picked out the silliest names to prove a point. What he doesn't acknowledge is how the intersession system works at OU. If the classes don't fill, they don't get taught. Teachers often use simple and catchy titles--often with pop-culture references--to attract students' attention. But this does not mean there is no substance behind the content of these classes, which often include a great deal of reading from literature and theory. Had Dutcher contacted these instructors for course syllabi he might have a greater understanding of what he's criticizing."
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