College is not for basics

The U.S. continues to lag behind foreign countries in the education area. But a recent state law will mandate that from now on high school students interested in pursuing a higher education will be prepared in academic fundamentals.

An Illinois law, effective in the fall of 1992, states that students wanting to attend a state university will need to successfully complete four years of high school English along with 11 other course-specific requirements.

Although some claim that the state is stepping out of bounds by setting these guide lines for university governing boards, the requirements will help assure that basic skills are acquired before students enter a higher learning institution.

NIU Provost Kendall Baker was right in saying, “By requiring specific courses, we simply assure that we don’t spend time and money re-teaching fundamentals. Too often teachers are forced to regurgitate fundamentals that students should have learned in high school or earlier.

In addition, making sure students have a solid educational background also will help improve NIU’s overall academic structure.

State universities should cater to those who are academically prepared, either from high school training or otherwise. The U.S. cannot afford to hold back in order to re-teach the basics. This state law that mandates taking specific courses will aid in the process of improving our national educational structure.