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February 15, 2001
Welcome To Remedial.Edu
Amy Williams, Associate Editor

FRESNO CAMPUS - California State University officials said Wednesday that 8 out of 10 CSU frosh needed remedial basic skills education last Fall. Most seem to have survived their Freshman year.
     University data show that 19,237 out of 28,327 incoming CSU frosh students were told they needed to complete the remedial courses by their sophomore year or hit the road!. As of this Fall, 15,240 were still hanging round, however.
     Officials in the CSU Chancellor's Office located in Long Beach, Calif. said the university, spends $10 million every year on remedial ed. The Board of Trustees strategy is to offer Summer School basic reading, writing, and arithmetic classes using high-tech computers to deliver remedial instruction.
     The data released Wednesday did not break out Fresno State data on remedial ed classes, nor did the data include any other demographics about the remedial Ed students on campus.
     The Bulldog Newspaper staff has surveyed the 1998-1990 Freshman Class at Fresno State to find out what makes 'em tick. After sampling the group and conducting many interviews we were able to identify some very revealing facts about the entering frosh this past year.
     First, they are the first generation to be born into Luvs, Huggies, and Pampers. John Lennon and John Belushi have always been dead. There has always been a woman on the Supreme Court, and women have always been traveling into space.
     They have never needed a prescription to buy ibuprofen. They were born and grew up with Microsoft, IBM PCs, in-line skates, NutraSweet, fax machines, film on disks, and unregulated quantities of commercial interruptions on television.
     Somebody named Dole has always been running for something. Cats has been on Broadway all of their lives. They never heard anyone say, "Book 'em, Danno," "Good night, John-boy," or "Kiss my grits" in prime time.
     They never knew Madonna when she was like a virgin. Mike Myers is The Spy Who Shagged Me, not the first Congressman expelled in a century for his role in "Abscam." They have never had to worry about the packaging of Tylenol.
     Jesse Jackson has always been getting someone out of trouble someplace.      Strikes by highly paid athletes have been a routine part of professional athletics.
     The moonwalk for them is a Michael Jackson dance step, not a Neil Armstrong giant step. Space travel has always been accomplished in reusable spacecraft.
     Making matters worse, the term "adult" has increasingly come to mean "dirty." In the year they were born, reports condemned violence on television and in Hollywood films for producing the likes of John Hinckley.
     They have always been able to get their news from USA Today and CNN. They have spent more than half of their lives with Bart Simpson.
     They don't understand why Solidarity is spelled with a capital "S" and they don't think there is anything terribly futuristic about 2001. They were never concerned about 1984. They have probably never dialed a phone or opened an icebox or seen white smoke over the Vatican and don't know its significance. They remember when Saturday Night Live was still funny.
     So, lets get busy and start filling in the gaps in basic education for these frosh to help them really appreciate the true value of a free public education in the Western hemisphere.


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