Let’s reimburse higher ed for remediation costs

Friday, May 17, 2013

The good news: Oklahoma schools are teaching phonics. The bad news: It’s in college.

Students at Tulsa Community College, for example, can take a college English course called “Spelling and Phonics,” which “helps students master basic spelling literacy, principles of phonics and decoding skills.”

This sort of higher education brings to mind former Boston University president John Silber’s quip: “Higher than what?”

By way of contrast, I commend to your attention the requirements facing students hoping to be admitted to Harvard College around 1700: “Everyone competent to read Cicero or any other classic author of that kind extemporaneously, and also to speak and write Latin prose and verse with tolerable skill and without assistance, and of declining the Greek nouns and verbs, may expect to be admitted to the College: If deficient in any of these qualifications, he cannot under any circumstances be admitted.”

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