WILLIAM G. TIERNEY, professor of higher education and director of the Center of Higher Education Policy Analysis, and STEFANI RELLES, former community college instructor:
“Every summer for the past decade, we have conducted a writing program for college-bound, low-income minority students. More than 80 percent of them have never written a formal five-page paper. Instead, they’ve churned out short essay after short essay after short essay. When asked to develop an idea or argument beyond two or three pages, they look dumbfounded.
Sadly, these kids’ writing histories are all too typical of many high-school graduates, especially those who attend low-income schools. If they go on to college, they will probably land in a college remedial-writing course. The National Commission on Writing uses California to illustrate the numbers involved: nearly one in two students enrolling in the Cal State University System will have to take remedial writing; one in three will do so at the University of California.”
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