It is impossible for colleges to teach in one semester what should have been taught in 12 previous years of school. Anyone who things otherwise, is kidding themselves.
Oh, it might seem like the student is grasping the information, and he might be able to regurgitate some of it on an exam, but usually there is no retention and little understanding.
Remediation corrects something bad or defective. It can't take the place of a missing life time of learning.
More kids might be graduating high school than ever before but their lack of knowledge is greater than anything anyone has ever seen. A college professor I recently spoke to had no idea that an 80 on a regents exam meant the child barely got 64% of the exam correct.
I don't have answers, but I sometimes knowing something is wrong is the first step in finding a solution. Sending students to college who cannot do arithmetic, simple algebra, read or write is wrong. They won't get it in one term and they won't get it by repeating this one term over and over again. We are wasting their time, their money (and ours if they are in school on tax payer supported financial aid) and we are destroying their self esteem.
I recently finished reading Songs For The Butcher's Daughter by Peter Manseau and one paragraph stood out:"
Kishinev needs cobblers as well as scholars," the teacher would say as he sent the expelled boys to his cousin the shoemaker. "soon we will all leave here, and without proper soles beneath us where Will the Torah be?"
Not everyone is meant for college. Those who have the desire and the latent ability will find a way.