George R. Blumenthal is the chancellor of UCSC and he recently made an appearance at the North Monterey County High School to encourage students to apply and attend UCSC. He is part of the the “Achieve UC” program to encourage students to study hard and reach their goals. His comments come at a time when the national numbers for high school graduates for competency in Math and English are at the forefront of the conversation. Chancellor Blumenthal’s most encouraging quote to the North County teens was:
“Do you know how much you will pay to attend the University of California if your family income is under $80,000?” Blumenthal asked. “Nothing. And financial aid exists to help with housing, food, books and other expenses. But you have to study hard.”
Unfortunately, the majority of students nationally, and in the Monterey County schools are not making the mark for college level competency upon entering college, so Chancellor Blumenthal is ramping up support on his end at the University to help incoming students get up to speed so that they can attain proficiency in their University classes. He is also asking school districts to ramp up on their end, so that students can bring their levels up to meet the challenges of a much more rigorous education standard than they are used to.
In every presidential debate for the upcoming elections in 2016, and also locally, in commercial ads by local politicians, the focal point that is stressed when it comes to reform, is education, which is only second to reforms needed to bolster the economy.
Having been a Substitute Teacher in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District for over five years, I know that student populations struggle to grasp the fundamentals of education, which is English and Math. If they are able to pass their required SAT’s and other evaluation testing with above average test scores, they should be able to master the elements of higher learning, but the fact is that many are not relatively close to being able to do so.
Therein lies the dilemma for University professors when the deluge of students start with stars in their eyes in the University, and then are unable to keep up with the demands of University coursework, despite the additional tutoring classes on both ends of the educational spectrum. Those additional classes during the school year and summer classes as they move toward their first day of University, along with additional classes to help along the way in University can be described as ancillary, but cannot replace the need for the core knowledge that is consistently gained throughout their school years.
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