In the past, I've taught the remedial and the algebra classes. Both go so fast that anyone coming in knowing nothing simply cannot make it through. Many take these several times before they succeed and then pass, knowing the bare minimum. These classes are intended to reinforce and strengthen skills that should have been learned in high school. Unfortunately, that is not the case and kids are coming to college knowing next to nothing.
I have been trying to get my algebra kids motivated and working hard for the upcoming regents. One boy announced "My friend Dwayne passed and he is as dumb as they come." The kids know they can pass even if they know nothing. Most of the "Dwaynes" in my class will get through, and I worry about their future. I worry about their survival in even the lowest level remedial class. I feel like a hypocrite as I push and push and teach them some of the little tricks that will help them succeed. I'm getting them closer to the diploma but I am preparing them for nothing in life. My paycheck is coming from the devil who cares nothing about human lives and only about numbers and statistics. My school is not to blame. We have to pass them or we will be closed down, like many of the other high school around. Bloomberg keeps patting himself on the back for the wonderful job he has done with education. I hope the devil is around patting him too and waiting for his payback. He has certainly earned it, giving Bloomberg the power to destroy so many lives.