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October 11, 2012 10:00 AM Implementing Reform, the Other Side of Remediation

By Daniel Luzer

Back in March I wrote about Connecticut’s promising new remediation policy: eliminate all remedial college courses by 2014 and replace them with “embedded supports” in regular classes.

While the bill to eliminate remediation courses passed, many community college administrators didn’t support the new policy. So the administrators are getting the option to just leave.

According to an article by Jacqueline Rabe Thomas in the Connecticut Mirror:

In reaction to what one official says is internal dissent over a new law governing remedial education, members of the state’s community college governing board were notified this week that their staff has offered 12 college presidents an expedited exit from their contracts.
In an email to the [15-member Board of Regents for Higher Education] Tuesday, Michael Meotti, executive vice president of the college system, addressed an issue first broached publicly by Manchester Community College President Gena Glickman. She told her faculty and staff that she and the 11 other college presidents were offered a buyout that they must decide to accept by Oct. 31 or risk dismissal.

In general Connecticut community college presidents have a one-year notice period before they have to leave. Meotti, however, told Thomas that “the urgency of our work required us to expedite the process this year.”

The “urgency of our work” mostly seems to mean that state law that will eliminate remedial courses by next year. Some community college presidents objected to the policy but, according to the article, Meotti proposed giving the community college presidents,

“An earlier trigger to the 12-month notice period if mutually agreed upon. [Staff] would follow up individually with presidents,” The move was an effort to “create a path to an amicable resolution with anyone who might feel they could not carry out the directions of the law and the board.”

That buyout deal sounds like a more or less effective solution to the problem, but it’s not really clear from the article what’s going to happen if presidents both object to the new remediation policy and refuse the buyout deal.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer