Staff Editorial: Lack of unity in Reading Readiness leaves underserved students behind

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The blanket “Reading Readiness” initiative touted by some as the best and most viable course change in the history of the college, will soon be stripped thanks to the recommendation put forth by the faculty governing body, Educational Affairs.

The course change, which sparked a firestorm in several email listservs, drew out meetings riddled with drama, and could have potentially caused a scene at the October Board of Trustees meeting, will soon be no longer.

At the beginning of the semester, vice president of Educational Affairs Andy Anderson requested additional research and discussion of the initiative to take place under the guidance of a new committee with his oversight.

It’s a real wonder there wasn’t a parade of faculty celebrating throughout the college.

And yet, the faculty members involved, and even those who aren’t, seem disappointed and annoyed with the administration’s decision, based on both conversations via in person and electronically.

There is no question the merits of the initiative are valid. Reading skills and comprehension above an elementary level are necessary to be not only a successful student, but also a productive member of society.

A significant population of this college falls in the cracks of the education system, and the college that has allowed them to slip in the past, has a responsibility to offer them a hand up now and for the future.

The decision made by Educational Affairs at the prompting of Anderson was a move in the right direction, and one that should be recognized as such.

The college’s previous administrations have made some awful decisions. Some of which have been detrimental to the voices of faculty, the community and students. However, it is time this administration is given a chance.

That’s not to suggest they shouldn’t be held accountable. The best administrators and leaders are those held responsible for their actions — both the good and the bad. Not every decision made will be understood or appreciated by all.

However it is evident the leaders of this school truly are dedicated to acting in the best interests of the college as a whole — including faculty. They should be applauded.

With the reconstruction of the initiative, it is time faculty members of governing bodies get off their high horses, and accept the open handed offer of the administration. In addition, clear definitions of governing bodies’ responsibilities are necessary to their role in future curriculum and college changes.

It is only once the college is unified behind the scenes, that the college will be successful in its goals to best empower those students most underserved and overlooked.

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