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We have been losing our remedial writing sections for a few years now, but it is only recently that so many of us have been forced to feel the tremendous burden caused by the ongoing slashing of these classes. I am sorry about that. Yet many more of us will feel it in semesters to come.
There were plenty of signs that CUNY was moving in this direction. However, between the problems of Pathways and the countless other obstacles thrown at our department, it was difficult to find time to examine the problem and strategize means to counter it.
Our lack of readiness **must** change. As Cheryl wrote, it is time for us to be “more proactive, less reactive.”
We should (and will) discuss this monstrous situation at our department meeting. But a discussion isn’t enough. We need to form a new department committee: one that is tasked with the mission to investigate this trouble and develop solutions. No doubt some information that this committee pursues would need to be gathered from other committees or heads. But this problem is of such a scope that a separate committee– one that could focus all of its attention and organize other efforts–would be best. Also, it is likely that this committee could be charged to attending to other problems as well (such as the recent drop in enrollment and in electives, the difficult to manage size of department, and the subsequent never-ending workload placed on our department deputies). Still, in my opinion, the loss of our remedials is the biggest, most far-reaching threat our department has ever faced–at least since I’ve been hired.
As a first step towards such an analysis, I recently finished some research on what, exactly, **has** been our remedial loss. I will post it in my next email.
Comparing Fall 2013 to the Fall semester where we first appeared to be losing sections, which was Fall 2008, we lost **44 percent** of our original 095s (or 18 sections lost).
The Spring was an even greater loss. Comparing Spring 2014 to the Spring semester where we first appeared to be losing sections, which was Spring 2009, we lost **65 percent** of our original 095s (or 57 sections lost total). Also, looking at just our Spring semesters from the past year alone (2014 to 2013), we lost **40 percent** of our already low amount of 095s in a single year (or 21 sections lost).
Comparing Fall 2013 to the semester where we first appeared to be losing sections, which was Fall 2008, we lost **73 percent of our 088s** (or 18 sections lost). Our Spring loss is similar.