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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Should OHLAP Pay For Remediation? Are We Begging the Question?

Oklahoma's Promise
Today's Oklahoman had an editorial concerning the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program known as OHLAP. The editorial criticized the fact that some OHLAP funds, less than 2%, are being used for students in need of college remediation courses which typically carry no college credit. Many people question why students are in need of such remediation. To me, and to many high school teachers, this begs the question as to why we feel that all students should be given a college preperatory curriculum when many do not want to go to college and perhaps should not, at least not right out of high school. Below is my response to the editorial:

To the Editor:

Recently, you criticized the use of OHLAP scholarships to pay for remedial college courses. You feel that taxpayers should not pay for "high school courses." You also state these students have been "short changed" in high school.

OHLAP makes no distinction between those high school students who have prepared themselves for college and those who have not. High schools do not make a distinction between students wanting to go to college and those who do not want this or are unwilling to do the preparation needed. Why don’t school allow students to make this decision for themselves? Students who wish to prepare themselves for college and do the work needed would be enrolled in college prep classes. Those who do not can take a general curriculum along with career tech classes to gain needed work skills. Oh wait, that would be tracking! Bad teacher! Bad teacher!

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