<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California.
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Who’s to blame for unprepared Cal State freshmen…and what’s the best way to get them up to speed?

Many students may not be ready for college coursework
Many students may not be ready for college coursework
Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

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It’s no secret that the California’s K – 12 education system is stressed right now; the California State University system is no different. In an effort to better prepare student for college-level work, the CSU approved a controversial policy that requires academically inefficient students to take remedial math and English coursework before beginning their college careers. The “Early Start” program, which starts in 2012, demands that students who fail the already controversial proficiency tests will be forced to take mandatory CSU-Sponsored courses in summer school before they begin their freshman year. Currently about 60% of CSU freshman are not proficient in either subject, or both – even though they met the university’s standards of earning a B average in High School. On top of this, each CSU campus will have to create and finance its Early Start program and will not be reimbursed by the CSU system, which is currently facing a $584 million budget deficit. Patt talks to both sides of the discussion to discover if “Early Start” can right the ship.


Allison Jones, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Academic Support at California State University

Kimberly King, assistant professor of clinical psychology at Cal State Los Angeles & a teacher in the Cal State L.A. Summer Bridge Program; vice president of the CSULA chapter of the California Faculty Association