|Contents||Members of the Commission of the Future of CUNY||Bibliography|
The Role of the Commission on the Future of CUNY
of the Commission on the Future of CUNY: Remediation
TRUSTEES' PROPOSAL to Eliminate
Remedial Courses at the
Remediation Is An Integral Part of Higher Education
The Quality of Remedial
The Numbers Game: Impact on Students
Analysis of CUNY Projections of Impact
An Alternative Assessment of the Amendment's Impact
Impact on Students at Particular Colleges
Racial and Economic
Educational Impact: Focus on What Really Matters
Impact on SEEK and ESL Students: A Prelude to Failure?
A Word About the Community Colleges
The Likelihood of Completing
a Bachelor's Degree
When Beginning at a Community College
The Benefits of Taking
Remediation at a Senior College
Impact on Colleges' Institutional Missions
The Problem of Inflexibility
Impact at the College of Staten Island
The Budgetary Impact
of Relocating Remediation
Attempts to Mitigate the Adverse Effects of the New Policy
Prelude to Success
CUNY-Based Summer Programs
CUNY-Based Year-Round Immersion Programs
Other CUNY Initiatives
Proposals: Paying for Remediation
The Tests - Remediation and Admissions - A "Moving Target"
Use of a Test as a Sole Criterion for a High Stakes Decision
Fairness and Standardized Tests
Realistic Cut Scores
CONCLUSIONS and RECOMMENDATIONS
Appendix A: Legal Analysis and Standard of Review
Appendix B: Measures of Excellence
Appendix C: Exhibits
The City University of New York ("CUNY") has a long and proud history. The third largest university system in the country, CUNY enrolls nearly 144,000 students in its 11 senior colleges and approximately 69,000 students in its six community colleges. Traditionally, CUNY has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving a diverse and non-traditional urban constituency that includes large numbers of working students, recent immigrants, single mothers, and adult learners. Because CUNY has found ways to accommodate these students' needs, it has emerged as a vehicle for the upward mobility of the disadvantaged in the City of New York. The system's significance in training the City's professional workforce makes it essential to the economy of one of the world's most important cities.
CUNY's importance to the lives of individual New Yorkers cannot be overestimated. Fifty-three percent of CUNY students are first-generation college students; twenty-eight percent are the first in their immediate family to attend college. The boost CUNY gives these students is difficult to quantify, but studies have repeatedly shown that higher education increases the earning capacity, productivity and entrepreneurial ability of New Yorkers. Current census data indicate that having a bachelor's degree increases a person's average lifetime earnings by about $700,000, compared to having only a high school diploma. Post-secondary education is also a major service industry in New York City. CUNY's direct impact on New York's economy and tax base is estimated to be $13.7 billion annually.
CUNY is at a turning point. The system is the focus of controversy and its funding is grossly inadequate. External controversy and internal schisms have been exacerbated by the recent proposal by the CUNY Board of Trustees to eliminate remedial coursework at CUNY's senior colleges. Against this background, the Mayor's Advisory Task Force on the City University of New York, headed by Benno Schmidt, (now a Trustee of CUNY and Vice Chairman of the Board) issued its Report, The City University of New York: An Institution Adrift, (the "Schmidt Report") on June 7, 1999. Herman Badillo, now Chairman of the Board of Trustees of CUNY, was also a member of the Mayor's Task Force. The Report was accompanied by a number of underlying reports, some written by Task Force staff and some by consultants from the Rand Corporation and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Most recently, on September 30, 1999, the group of consultants engaged by the Board of Regents issued its Review ("Consultants' Review") of CUNY's proposal to end remedial coursework at the senior colleges.
The Role of the Commission on the Future of CUNY
The Association of the Bar of the City of New York believes that it can serve a constructive role in the public policy debate over CUNY. Over the course of its 129-year history, the Association has developed a reputation for providing broad, comprehensive, in-depth and non-partisan analysis of major policy issues. The Association has applied this approach to topics as varied as development of a Congressional code of ethics, creation of the City's first Family Court, strategic arms control and, currently, campaign finance reform. To accomplish its goal, the Association has established a Commission on the Future of CUNY. The Commission consists of eminent educators, former public officials, lawyers, as well as business, civic and community leaders representing a balance of perspectives. Commission's members include past and present members of the CUNY community.
The Commission takes its lead from CUNY's mission as enunciated in its enabling statute. Pursuant to New York Education Law, CUNY is obligated to provide broad access and opportunity for students from all backgrounds, to maintain a commitment to academic excellence, to remain responsive to the needs of its urban constituencies and to operate an integrated educational system that fosters student access to all system resources. Within that framework the Commission has examined the issues concerning the future of CUNY.
Over the past two years, CUNY has been the focal point of a vigorous debate over its standards and its remediation and admissions policies. The proposal to eliminate remedial coursework at the senior colleges has been accompanied by a high degree of rhetoric, creating tension among CUNY faculty, administrators and students, as well as civic and government leaders. In the course of the debate, the public has been led to believe that the senior colleges are filled with students who are unable to read or write. As the Consultants' Review noted:
the process of considering the strategic strengthening of the University has given way to an invasive political theater in which outrageous claims are the norm, policy comes to reflect anecdote rather than analysis, and almost everyone is free to talk without restraint -- about lines drawn in the sand, about the fundamental negation of the institution's basic mission, about an institution being adrift.
At this moment, as the New York State Board of Regents considers the Trustees' proposed Amendment and the CUNY Board of Trustees continues to redefine the system's methods of testing, assessment, and admissions, the proper role of remediation in the CUNY system is the most immediate question facing the system. It is only fitting, then, that the Commission should turn its attention, first, to the proposed Amendment to the Master Plan. It will be the primary focus of Part I of this Report. Part II (to be issued at a later date) will focus its recommendations for the future of CUNY on the two aspects of the system we view as primarily responsible for setting it "adrift": chronic under-funding and flawed governance practices.
Governance problems are legion. For example: Because of the system of appointment of Trustees and absence of conflict of interest rules to prevent either the fact or the appearance of political interference in the making of educational policy decisions, these decisions may be considered suspect. The decision-making process in the case of the changes in remediation and access is particularly vulnerable to criticism for its haste and the absence of careful deliberation or any meaningful consideration of less drastic alternatives than the one adopted. Courts have overturned Trustee decisions because of their failure to follow applicable procedures. This in turn has led to further confusion on the part of both the colleges and their prospective students.
The lack of sufficient financial support is another constant theme. CUNY is in a precarious position financially and it can hardly be gainsaid that it is grossly underfunded. Its state appropriations have dropped by 40% since 1980 in constant dollars, and its City funding has plunged 90% in constant dollars. Meanwhile, costs have increased for the system, forcing it to rely more and more on tuition revenues to stay afloat. As a result, tuition levels at CUNY are currently significantly higher than at peer colleges. New York State funding for the operating costs of public higher education is almost at the bottom of the national scale. Since 1990, New York State's constant dollar appropriation for CUNY community colleges has fallen by 55%, while enrollments have remained constant. State funding now makes up just 34% of community college budgets. Meanwhile, the state legislature and courts have recently reduced New York City's responsibility for CUNY appropriations.
In an effort to be of greater assistance to the Board of Regents in making the decision whether to approve the Amendment, we have prepared a brief analysis of controlling law and the standard of review to be applied by the Regents in determining whether to approve the proposed Amendment to the Master Plan. (See Appendix A.) Suffice it to say here, the Trustees' Resolution and proposed Amendments are, by statute, only recommendations to the Regents. The Regents have the responsibility to assure that the changes comport with the mission of CUNY to serve its urban constituency and to maintain academic excellence. In their consideration, the Regents may take into account that the Board of Trustees neither discussed nor debated the potential impact that the proposals would have, nor did they have the necessary documentation before them when they acted. Moreover, the Trustees ignored their own by-laws, which require that the faculty be involved in the formulation of policy relating to admissions and changes in curriculum (8.6). Further, the Regents must take into account the implications of the federal Civil Rights laws.
Somehow in this discussion, the provision of remedial coursework has been equated with a diminution in academic excellence. Whether or not the provision of remediation relates to academic excellence is a debatable issue. Remedial coursework at CUNY senior colleges at present must be satisfied within one or at most two semesters. Academic excellence, on the other hand, involves the provision of faculty, scholarly research, and facilities to enrich and develop students over the period from admission to graduation. CUNY's great successes in this area have been overlooked in this debate. (See Appendix B.)
Excellence should be measured by the achievements of the graduates of an institution not by its entrants -- an excellent university with CUNY's mission should raise the levels of achievement. It is relatively easy to take high-achieving incoming students and then graduate them with high achievement. It is much more difficult, but also important, to take students who are ill-prepared and to graduate them with high levels of achievement. This has been CUNY's unique contribution to this city.
CUNY is far too important to the future of this City and its residents, particularly the poor and poorly served, to "rush to judgement" on such vital matters as continued access for the City's economically and educationally disadvantaged to what is likely the only chance they will have to get an education and thereby to gain a toehold in the economy of the twenty-first century. The Commission finds the expressed need to move quickly extremely disturbing and can discern no need for such great, even unseemly, haste in making whatever changes may ultimately be deemed advisable. The future students of CUNY are entitled to have the same opportunity of social and economic upward mobility afforded to their counterparts in earlier generations of "the children of the whole people" of New York.
These are difficult issues. Broad vision, clear and objective information, meaningful assessments of academic excellence and careful consensus-building are needed in this debate, rather than polarized rhetoric and simplistic solutions.
MAJOR FINDINGS of the COMMISSION on the FUTURE of CUNY: REMEDIATION
The Commission submits that
there are compelling reasons not to approve the proposed Amendment on remediation
in its current form and on the proposed timetable.
The proposed changes will have an unacceptably disproportionate effect on those very low-income, minority and immigrant groups who are most dependent on CUNY to provide a leg up onto the economic ladder.
The proposed Amendment is too rigid. In regard to remedial coursework, it does not allow for the necessary flexibility and discretion at individual campuses having different missions and appealing to the needs and interests of different segments of the CUNY student population. We agree with the observation of the Consultants' Review that one would expect that the natural complement to such differentiation would be a practice of flexibility, in which individual colleges would be allowed to develop their own pathways toward adopting an integrated, more rigorous, set of standards...[rather than] a strong centralized cast in which basic rules are being applied unilaterally and everyone is expected to march to the beat of the same drummer.
Like the Regents' Consultants, the Commission believes that an accurate understanding of the Amendment's impact is necessary to a reasonable analysis of its merit. The Consultants' Review premises its endorsement of the proposed Amendment on its acceptance of the accuracy of CUNY's set of projections stating that only a relatively small number of students will be impacted.
We, however, have questions regarding the validity of CUNY's projections for the following reasons:
at the Senior Colleges
Admission standards at CUNY senior colleges are currently established separately by each of those colleges but centrally administered by CUNY. Each school has a sliding scale using several variables: high school grade point average, educational background (as measured by the number of college preparatory courses on a student's high school transcript), and SAT performance (though until now the SAT has not been required by CUNY). Those standards have been pegged upward in recent years and in some cases are as high as, or higher than, they were prior to the implementation of open admission in 1970.
Until the most recent change in policy on September 27, 1999,  upon acceptance, students were given three placement tests -- the College Skills Assessment Tests ("CSATs") -- to determine their proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics. Students who failed one or more of these tests were placed in the appropriate remedial courses. As we understand it, the new tests, currently scheduled to be inaugurated in the Spring semester of the current (1999-2000) academic year, will be used in the same way as the CSATs have been used in the past.
Concurrent with their remedial work, until now, students have been offered full-credit coursework in other subjects and access to the college's full resources. Since 1995 students have been required to complete their remedial work in one or two semesters, depending on the college. There is not a great difference in the graduation rate of CUNY students who enroll in one or two remedial courses and their peers who required no remediation. (The eight-year graduation rate for CUNY baccalaureate students who enrolled in 1988 with no remedial needs was 48.2%; for students who took and passed one remedial course, 44.9%; and for those who took and passed two remedial courses, 41.4% ). Students who enroll in one remedial course perform nearly as well as other students in their remaining coursework.
Under the proposed Amendment, which provides details for the January 1999 Board of Trustees resolution, all remedial coursework is to be phased out of all the senior colleges by 2001. Analysis of the proposed Amendment has proven to be surprisingly difficult given that it is based on a relatively simple proposition, i.e., no more remedial courses at the senior colleges. But interpretations, re-interpretations, exceptions, exemptions and explications, as well as outright changes in the proposed policy have continued unabated from the time the proposed Amendment was submitted to the Board of Regents on July 1, 1999 through October and up to this writing.
We believe, however, that this is how the proposed Amendment will work:
Chancellor Goldstein stresses, as do the Regents' consultants, that the proposal envisions the provision of various academic support services in lieu of formal remedial coursework. Many supporters of the change believe that it can lay "the foundation for a new emphasis on quality" and that it is "the natural outgrowth of a set of policies ... aimed at raising standards for baccalaureate degree students."  This approach to raising standards is based, at least in part, on the observation that the presence of less prepared students in classes with better prepared students pulls down the standards of instruction as the teacher is forced to aim to the lowest common denominator.
This is a problem, which is frequently identified by faculty and students alike, and is, of course, not unique to CUNY or to institutions having students who need remedial coursework. Schools which deal with students with a range of abilities and preparation have tried difference approaches. The Brooklyn College SEEK program uses block programming for students with similar remedial needs. (See below, p. 22) The experience of the College of Staten Island, (See below, p. 49) is instructive in this regard. Other creative solutions might be tried at other campuses if they are giving the flexibility to experiment.
But, this Amendment proposes a profound change in the structure, availability, and organization of remedial education at CUNY. While its stated intentions are similar to those embodied in several recent initiatives undertaken by the University or by some of its individual campuses, it is different in kind from the earlier innovations in several important respects.
First, it allows the central administration to set standards unilaterally. Like the April, 1992 College Preparatory Initiative ("CPI"), the proposed Amendment aims to improve the skills background of students entering into the CUNY system before they enroll. The CPI was a constructive and collaborative undertaking that paired CUNY faculty and administrators with peers in the New York City Public Schools to jointly evaluate course offerings in the public schools, formulate standards, and develop strategies to help students meet them. The Amendment, however, sets standards by fiat, and denies admission to those students who fail to meet them.
Second, like the policies contained in the June, 1995 University Budget Planning and Policy Options, the Amendment is an attempt to minimize the responsibility for remediation at CUNY's senior colleges. These 1995 policies limited remedial and ESL offerings at senior colleges to one year, allowed senior colleges to further limit remedial coursework to one semester, and prohibited senior college students who had twice failed remedial or ESL courses from repeating the course in question. The Amendment, on the other hand, takes ultimate control over admissions standards and remedial curricula from the senior colleges, and prohibits almost all students with shortcomings in basic skills from enrolling at the senior college level.
Finally, several college-level initiatives, such as Baruch's policy on remediation, the tightening of admissions standards at several senior colleges, and the development of block programs for entering freshmen with and without remedial needs, have made strides toward improving standards and educational quality at CUNY -- for students who are well prepared for college and those who have educational shortcomings alike. These policies, however, were initiated and developed by the particular colleges, not by the CUNY Board or administration. They were allowed to evolve independent of any system-wide requirements. These reforms were not formulated to prepare the system for the elimination of remedial coursework; in that respect, the Trustees' Amendment does not flow naturally from them.
The Amendment takes much of the responsibility and power to make reforms from CUNY's colleges, undermining the college-level efforts that have come before and limiting opportunities for many incoming students to demonstrate and improve their abilities. In a public multi-campus system like CUNY -- particularly in a system subject to powerful political influences and serving a distinctive, diverse, and urban constituency -- these governance distinctions are crucial.
The Commission is also profoundly concerned about the timing of the changes. Improvements envisioned by the new Regents' exam requirements have not yet been fully realized and their ultimate extent is unknown, particularly for New York City high school students. The academic support services envisioned by the Amendment and CUNY's budget requests have not yet been funded or put into place. The recent debacle in the New York City public schools, where there was an effort to raise the standards of promotion without careful implementation of critical steps such as the administration of tests, shows the damage that can occur when well-intentioned programs are implemented without adequate preparation. With respect to the elimination of remedial coursework at senior colleges, Florida, the sole university system in the country to have already implemented such a program, did so gradually over a period of more than 15 years after the passage of the enabling legislation. It should also be noted that Florida's remedial education model differs substantially from the model CUNY has proposed.
Remediation Is An Integral Part of Higher Education
The need to help under-prepared students -- commonly referred to as remediation -- has been an integral part of higher education in this country for over 300 years. As we have moved from an industrial to a highly technical and service oriented economy, higher education continues to educate an ever growing proportion of the population. Particularly in areas such as New York City, where there have been problems in the public school system which feeds the University and high numbers of immigrants from a wide range of educational backgrounds, there is every reason to believe that remediation will continue to be necessary.
The debate on elevating academic standards in CUNY senior colleges has focused almost exclusively on the elimination of remedial coursework as if that would be the panacea. Academic excellence, of course, is related to the ability of incoming students. But remedial courses at CUNY senior colleges must be completed within one or at most two semesters. Indeed, CUNY students who now require some level of remediation have already met the regular admission requirements which in some cases are as high or higher than they were prior to the implementation of open admissions in 1970.
Academic excellence is judged by a broader set of criteria than the grade scores of students upon entry into college. It is measured by the full sweep of resources provided by the institution, including the reputation of the faculty, the number of full time professors as compared to adjuncts, the ratio of faculty to students, libraries, computers and the vast basket of services expected to be provided by top quality universities. The perception that eliminating remedial coursework will directly elevate academic excellence undoubtedly has made it an easy target for those looking for quick fixes to an educational system that has come under serious fire. But the victims of these changes will be in any case the students who have been denied the proper preparation in the public school system. Students who have done well enough to satisfy admissions standards for many public baccalaureate programs in the country will have an inflexible barricade placed before them in their quest to advance in society.
The Quality of Remedial Programs
Undoubtedly, some institutions do a better job than others of preparing students for baccalaureate programs even apart from financial resources and other benefits less easily quantified. The Schmidt Report criticized CUNY for failure to keep sufficient data to make any adequate conclusions about which of its remedial programs are effective and which are not, either at the senior or the community colleges:
CUNY has made little effort to determine which approaches work well or badly for particular student populations. Neither we nor CUNY knows whether and how many remediation students are in fact mastering basic academic skills sufficient for college readiness. Moreover, there has been little analysis to determine which of CUNY's various institutions and programs are best suited to provide which types of remediation, based on their academic mission and their track records. Remediation is an obvious case for a coherent system to commit itself to careful institutional mission differentiation, based on which institutions and programs succeed and are most productive, and which institutions and faculties should be given responsibility and support. The information that does exist tends to be anecdotal or unreliable.
Thus it is entirely possible that the automatic removal of all remedial coursework from the senior colleges will result in the abandonment of some of the most creative and successful programs along with some which may be failures. The Brooklyn College SEEK program, for example, received a Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education ("FIPSE") grant in 1995 for curriculum improvement and faculty development to better prepare disadvantaged, remedial students for Brooklyn's core curriculum. This program includes classroom instruction as well as counseling, tutoring, etc. Remedial classes are taught in blocks along with related courses in the College's core curriculum, and this approach has had notable success. In 1999, on the strength of its students' skills improvements, Brooklyn's SEEK program received a second FIPSE grant -- to replicate its pedagogical model at Queens College and John Jay College. Under the proposed Amendment, Brooklyn College will no longer be able to offer the remedial classes.
It is a disservice to CUNY, the students it serves, and the City of New York to allow debates over projections and statistics to replace a reasoned discussion of the pedagogical and policy merits of the proposed Amendment. As the Regents' consultants explain, "the push-pull of a conflict in which one group says thousands of students will be affected while others project less than 200 students will be affected is an exercise in numbers and not in learning." 
At the same time, one must understand the Amendment's scale to judge it. If the Amendment did, as some argue, affect just 152 students a year, then the reasons to block its implementation are less powerful, though by no means without merit. The fact is, however, that its impact is likely to be much broader.
Analysis of CUNY Projections of Impact
Projecting policy impact is, even in the best case, largely a matter of educated guesswork. In the case of the recent Trustees' Amendment, the effort is made even more difficult by gaps in the available data and shifting interpretations of the policy. During the debate over the proposed Amendment, CUNY has issued no fewer than four different projections of its impact on enrolling students: In response to the Trustees' original resolution to eliminate remedial courses, the central administration circulated a report in May, 1998 that outlined a "worse case scenario," in which the elimination at the senior college level would force 46% of CUNY's senior college bachelor's entrants into community colleges. The text of the Amendment, however, revised that estimate, maintaining that "approximately 10% of students will complete their remediation at a community college." In response to a request by the Board of Regents for more detailed projections, CUNY's Office of Institutional Research projected this July that the Amendment would send just 220 students to community colleges for remediation. Even more recently, that projection has again been revised, and CUNY maintains that the Amendment will send just 152 senior college students to community colleges. CUNY now argues that its most recent projection is the most accurate.
TABLE 1: Four CUNY Projections of the Proposed Amendment's Impact on Senior College Enrollment, by Percent and Number of Students.
|Date||Source||Impact (%)||Impact (#)|
|June 3, 1998||CUNY Administration||46%||6717|
|June 28, 1999||Board of Trustees Amendment||10%||1460|
|July 4, 1999||CUNY Office of Institutional Research||1.5%||220*|
|September 1, 1999||CUNY Office of Institutional Research||1.0%||152*|
It is important, then, to take a careful look at the assumptions and methods that underlie this most recent projection. This projection, dated September 1, 1999 and attached hereto as Appendix C, Exhibit 2 attempts to predict the Amendment's impact on the Fall, 2000 class of entering first-time freshmen.
Two elements of the projection's construction limit its effectiveness:
First, it implies that the only students affected by the Amendment are those who are sent to community college after having gained senior college acceptance. This implication, which is embedded in the document's flow-chart movement from "projected successful first-time freshman Fall applicants to CUNY senior colleges" to "remediation at a community college", is incomplete. Students accepted to senior colleges but then required to transfer enrollment to a community college for remedial courses -- the 152 students in CUNY's revised projection -- will be affected by the resolution, but they are not the only ones: SEEK and ESL students allowed to enroll in senior college will be denied remedial coursework that is imperative to their successful college careers. Students placed into the pilot Prelude to Success and proposed year-round immersion programs will certainly feel the Amendment's impact as well. (For a discussion of Prelude to Success, see pp. 56, et seq.)
Second, the projection appears to make implausible assumptions about the improvement in entering student preparedness. As of the start of the Fall 1998 semester, 56.2% of incoming first-time freshmen to CUNY bachelor's programs had passed all three CSAT's. CUNY's most recent projection of the Amendment's impact assumes that 84.6% of its incoming non-SEEK and non-ESL students will have satisfied the system's remedial requirements by the start of the Fall 2000 semester. This is an improvement of 28.4% in just two years. To explain this marked improvement, CUNY officials speak of increased recruitment efforts, the introduction of SAT and Regents' exam exemptions from remediation, an upward trend in student preparedness, improved performance in summer immersion programs, and the introduction of new, more accurate, assessment measures. These improvements, however, are only projected. In implementing the Amendment, CUNY should be prepared for the distinct possibility that the projected improvement in student preparedness may not materialize. And in considering the Amendment, all parties involved should be aware of the Amendment's potential impact if these projected gains in student preparedness do not materialize.
An Alternative Assessment of the Amendment's Impact
Fortunately, the shortcomings in CUNY's most recent projection are relatively
easy to remedy. To avoid the implication that SEEK and ESL student are
untouched by the Amendment, one simply has to count their numbers among
those impacted. And to project more realistically incoming student preparedness,
one can replace CUNY's projected pass rate with the rate at which CUNY
students passed out of remedial courses before the beginning of the Fall
1998 semester, the most recent semester for which complete and reliable
figures have been made available outside of CUNY. Table 2 makes these two
corrections to CUNY's most recent projection.
TABLE 2: Impact of the
Trustees' Amendment, had it been implemented Fall 1998
We believe that Table 2 more realistically projects the Amendment's impact. This diagram relies exclusively on the experience of CUNY's Fall 1998 entering freshman cohort. These numbers differ substantially from the numbers presented in CUNY's most recent projection of the Amendment's impact in several regards: Where CUNY predicts a significant increase in first-time freshmen enrollments, our projection starts with actual 1998 enrollments. Rather than relying on CUNY's projected decrease in SEEK student enrollment for which no explanation is offered, we used 1998 enrollments as a baseline. In place of CUNY's estimate of students who will pass the CSAT's on the first attempt or will be exempt by virtue of their SAT or Regents scores we substituted the Fall 1998 incoming CUNY student CSAT pass rate. Rather than accepting CUNY's assumption of increased enrollment and success rates in summer immersion programs, we used the historical data. Finally, CUNY's most recent projection assigns some of the students who still have remedial needs at the beginning of the fall semester to year-round immersion programs. Such programs are not mandated by the proposed Amendment and do not yet exist anywhere in the CUNY system. We have no way of knowing whether or not they will exist by the time the proposed Amendment is implemented.
The Commission recognizes the possibility that incoming CUNY student performance may improve by the Fall 2000 semester and we hope that it will be as dramatic as CUNY suggests. We find it unlikely, however, that it will improve as considerably as CUNY assumes it will, especially if the system is to enjoy the sort of enrollment growth that it projects over the next two years. We also believe that our figures provide a realistic and reliable, if not optimistic, projection of the Amendment's impact. If CUNY's June 3, 1998 projection was a worse-case scenario and its September 1, 1999 projection is a best-case scenario, we intend ours to be a likely-case scenario.
Impact on Students at Particular Colleges
Because all of the projections circulated to date, including our own, are system-wide, they miss the Amendment's potential effect on individual senior colleges. This is an important oversight for two reasons: First, rapid changes in enrollment can have deleterious effects on college budgets and operations. Second, remedial courses and remedial needs are not spread equally throughout CUNY. For some of CUNY's senior colleges, implementing the proposed Amendment will require relatively minor adjustments; for others, the Amendment represents a sudden change that could be very harmful to their long term health and to their traditional student bodies.
In light of the projected losses in incoming student populations, it should come as no surprise that CUNY is projecting declining undergraduate enrollments at several of its senior colleges between Fall 1998 and Fall 2003: Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Lehman, Queens, and York. For some CUNY institutions, declines in enrollment could be dire. In preparing the Amendment to the Master Plan, CUNY asked each of its institutions to project the Amendment's impact on their enrollments. Brooklyn College predicted an 11.8% decline in incoming freshman, City College predicted an initial drop of as much as 33% in new students, and Lehman predicted a cumulative drop in undergraduate enrollment of 31.1% by the 2003-2004 school year.
TABLE 3: Proposed Amendment's Projected Impact in First-Year of Implementation
|College||CSAT Failure Rate*||First-time Freshmen||Students Lost|
SOURCE: CUNY Office of Institutional Research "Performance on the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests: Percent Passing Reading, Writing and Math Skills Tests Regular Fall 1997 and Fall 1998 First-time Freshmen" and CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1998 (Draft), Table 13B. Students lost figure includes students bound for Prelude to Success and year-round immersion programs and equal failure rate times first-time freshmen.
Given the uncertainty of enrollment projections for the senior colleges, the impact of these changes on the senior colleges could be severe. On top of that, the senior colleges will be expected to absorb the costs of many student services for students enrolled in Prelude to Success programs on their campuses even though their FTE allotments will be going to the community colleges where they are officially registered.
Racial and Economic Stratification
Another of the Amendment's implications necessarily overlooked in system-wide projections is its disparate impact on low income and minority students. According to CUNY's Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, 85% of remedial students at the bachelor's level and 80% of remedial students at the associate's level are racial and ethnic minorities. Further, the mean family income for entering non-remedial students is $13,000 higher than for entering remedial students at the bachelor's level. It is clear, then, that the Amendment will be more likely to affect the educational careers of low income and minority students. Indeed, while the Amendment itself never addresses its potential effect on minority enrollments, the statistical appendices attached to the Amendment predict a sizeable decline in minority enrollments at the senior college level over the next five years, while enrollments of white students remain relatively constant.
Further, it is important to note the correlation between institutions most affected by the Amendment and those with the largest proportion of racial and ethnic minority students. As Table 4 indicates, three senior colleges are likely to be particularly profoundly impacted by the proposed Amendment: City College, Lehman, and York. First-time freshmen at these three schools have been considerably more likely to fail the CSAT's than their peers at Baruch, Brooklyn, Hunter, and Queens. At the same time, City, Lehman and York have considerably higher proportions of students of color than Baruch, Brooklyn, Hunter, and Queens. It is disturbing to consider the fate of City, Lehman, and York under the proposed Amendment. Either these schools with particularly large minority populations will shrink substantially under the pressure of rising admissions standards, or their student compositions will change dramatically as students of color and low income students seek further education at community colleges, or perhaps not at all.
TABLE 4: Percentage of Fall 1998 First-time Freshmen Requiring Remediation, by Race.
|CSAT Failure Rate||% Hispanic||% Black||% Asian|
As Table 5 indicates, minority students are considerably more likely to require remediation. Black, Hispanic, and Asian students are dramatically over-represented in CUNY's remedial classrooms and SEEK programs. It seems overwhelmingly likely, then, that the Trustees' Amendment will disproportionately impact CUNY's minority population. It is difficult to see how CUNY will be able to maintain its commitment to serving a diverse urban population and providing access to the disenfranchised under a policy likely to have a particularly adverse impact on poor and minority students.
TABLE 5: Percentage of Fall 1998 First-time Freshmen Enrolling in SEEK or Requiring Remediation, by Race.
SOURCE: David Lavin and Elliot Weininger, "New Admissions Policy & Changing Access to CUNY's Senior and Community Colleges: What are the Stakes?" May 1999, Table 3 and CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1998 (Draft) Tables 13B, 37B, 27, and 28.
Educational Impact: Focus on What Really Matters
The discussion of numerical impact obscures the effect that the proposed Amendment will have on good educational practices and the provision of a quality education to CUNY students. The proposal is inherently inflexible in its insistence on a "one size fits all" approach to implementation and the Trustees seem intent on rushing it into operation before properly assessing its full impact, studying the efficacy of those programs intended to ameliorate that impact, or identifying and validating new selection devices that are to be an integral part of it. The Commission has identified a number of aspects of the proposal that significantly undermine its credibility.
Impact on SEEK and ESL Students: A Prelude to Failure?
Up to this point the public debate has focused on the impact on the students who will be turned away from the senior colleges as a result of the proposed Amendment. But we should also consider what might happen to the exceptions to the rule, i.e., SEEK and ESL students. Although these students will continue to be admitted to the senior colleges, it will no longer be permissible to give them remedial classes on the senior college campuses during the academic year. At Baruch College in the recent past, such students, as well as others needing remediation despite meeting the relatively high admissions standards, were given tutoring in the basics at the same time that they took their regular college level courses. But Baruch has comparatively few such students, and Baruch has a privately funded tutoring center available for all their students in need of such services. What will happen to the much larger number of SEEK and ESL students who have traditionally attended Brooklyn, City, Lehman, and other senior colleges that may not have the resources to give individual or even small group tutoring? Will they be tossed into the deep waters of the college curriculum to sink or swim? Or will CUNY be able to make available the kinds of academic support which would allow them to prosper?
SEEK, in particular, is a legislatively mandated program. Denying these students the remedial courses they need subverts the legislative intent of the program and will effectively read it out of existence. CUNY officials have talked a great deal about their Prelude to Success program. It would give remedial coursework under the auspices of a community college to regularly admitted senior college students who need some remediation. Their brother and sister students who are considered economically and educationally disadvantaged, or who are immigrants with limited facility in English, however, will not have the benefit of any remedial coursework under the proposal as it is currently conceived. That, we suggest, is a likely "prelude to failure."
As for ESL, we must be frank in stating that we do not understand how the ESL exception will work in practice. It is unclear to us whether students admitted to baccalaureate programs under this exemption (projected to be 450 in number) will be permitted to take ESL courses or whether they, like the SEEK students will be dependent upon tutoring or other support services that may or may not materialize in a timely fashion. In order to be qualified for the classification of ESL as defined by CUNY, a student must have taken at least one semester of high school abroad. We assume that this is meant to refer only to foreign born non-English speakers since it could otherwise arguably include even native English speakers taking a semester abroad or individuals coming from other English speaking countries. In the past, students were permitted to self-identify as either "native- or non-native speaker" apparently without regard to whether or not they were foreign born. Thus, it is unclear as to students from Puerto Rico. Indeed, the Consultants' Review states that the proposed Amendment "establishes a dichotomy between foreign- and native-born students who require ESL programs. We believe that dichotomy is a false one -- one that should not be embedded in the proposed Amendment"
The Consultants go on to note that "we cannot help but wonder whether this false dichotomy reflects the inappropriate conflation of ESL programs with remediation."  We wonder about that too. Moreover, we are concerned that this definition may fail to include in the ESL exemption immigrants who took their entire secondary education abroad and, therefore, do not have a diploma from a Regents certified high school and cannot otherwise qualify for regular admission to a CUNY senior college.
A Word About the Community Colleges
The Commission has great respect for the mission of community colleges and for their vital dual functions which involves technological and career education, on the one hand, and liberal arts and sciences, including preparation for transfer to a baccalaureate program, on the other. The discussion of the education philosophy (or philosophies) behind the community colleges as a distinct type of institution of higher education is complex and beyond the scope of this Report. Suffice it to say, however, that when we express concern for the fact that students affected by the policy change would be assigned to community colleges instead of senior colleges, and interpret that result as a diminution of access, we certainly intend no disrespect for community colleges. As the Consultants' Review points out, the proposed Amendment will not reduce access to the CUNY system, (p. 5), and this is accurate as far as it goes. We are aware that, at least at this stage, access to the system, as a whole, remains. But, as we discuss below, for students with aspirations for a baccalaureate degree there are substantial disadvantages to starting at a community college. There is simply no getting around the fact that the proposed Amendment will diminish access to the senior colleges and that enrollment at a senior college has distinct advantages.
Also, we are concerned that the CUNY community colleges may not be equipped to handle a large influx of new remedial students. As discussed in detail below, the community colleges do not have as many full-time faculty members as do the senior colleges, nor as much funding per student FTE. They currently enroll less than one-third of the CUNY students (by headcount) while the senior and hybrid colleges enroll two-thirds. Although the proposed Amendment will likely increase community college enrollment, it is unclear that they are prepared in terms of space and personnel to deal with it. According to one veteran community college professor, the community colleges will be "drained by efforts expended on remedial instruction of masses of resentful, demoralized and anxious students, overwhelmed by the arrival of new students in facilities and classrooms already unequipped to handle the student loads they have now, [and] pressured by continuing budget constraints to hire more adjuncts to respond to increased populations." Required to "teach to the tests," the community colleges would become "the assembly line remedial mills they are accused of being."
At least equally important is the question of what effect the shift of resources to remedial instruction will have on the community colleges' missions: college level academic preparation and technological and career education. Workforce development, in particular, is likely to be an increasingly important role for the community colleges in the future and they should not be seen simply as some sort of remedial dumping ground.
The Likelihood of Completing a Bachelor's Degree When Beginning at a Community College
Studies show that bachelor's degree aspirants who begin their higher education at a community college are about half as likely to achieve a bachelor's degree as otherwise identical students beginning at senior colleges. Further, the number of students transferring from community to senior colleges is rapidly declining nationwide. The Center for the Study of Community Colleges ("CSCC") conducts an annual study of community college to senior college transfer rates, analyzing students who enroll as first-time freshmen in community colleges and have acquired twelve or more college credits within 4 years. In 1984, the first year the CSCC reported its findings, the transfer rate to senior colleges and universities was 23.7%. In 1991, the most recent year for which findings are available, the rate was 22.1%. The picture is even more bleak for students of color. "[N]ational research shows that for minority students any delay in attendance at four-year campuses following high school graduation greatly reduces the probability that they will complete a bachelor's degree." 
At CUNY, as a whole, only 17.5% of the students who entered CUNY community colleges in 1991 transferred to a CUNY senior college within 6 years. This figure includes the much higher transfer rates for the hybrid colleges that offer both associate and baccalaureate degrees. John Jay and the College of Staten Island ("CSI") have transfer rates of 33% and 29.8% respectively with the vast majority "transferring" to the senior division of the same college. At the stand alone community colleges the average transfer rate is approximately 16.1 %. Bronx Community College students have a transfer rate of only 11.5%.
In discussing a 1973 policy enacted by the Trustees to ensure the transfer of credits between the community colleges and the senior colleges, the Schmidt Report noted:
Although 26 years have passed, CUNY has not yet fully implemented this policy. Because the 17 colleges view themselves as self-contained institutions, many of their practices, while in technical compliance with the Trustees' policy, violate its spirit. Transfer agreements must be negotiated one-by-one between individual departments, because the faculty fiercely protect their right to withhold credit for courses taken in other colleges. In addition, the colleges have bickered over who should shoulder the responsibility for administering the required certification tests to students wishing to transfer; some of the senior colleges have even insisted on placing incoming transfers into remediation even though those students had already completed remediation and achieved certification at the community college level.
We often heard senior college faculty and administrators euphemistically characterize the quality of community college instruction, including remedial instruction, as "uneven." For example, the PwC II Report found that "there are differences of opinion among the campuses around .... [t]he quality of the overall education at CUNY, particularly at the community college level versus the senior college level. This has led to difficulty in establishing articulation agreements and the acceptance of transfer students among the campuses."  For any significant number of students with senior college aspirations to enroll at community college could simply expand the scope of the problem.
The proposed Amendment does not specify whether or not students sent to community colleges solely because they require some remedial classes will be permitted to transfer back to a senior college immediately upon successful completion of the remediation or whether having started at a community college they will be required to complete their first two years there. Either way, we are concerned that the poor prospects for transfer of college level course credits will present a stumbling block that they would not have encountered had they been permitted to do their remedial work at a senior college for which they were otherwise qualified.
The Benefits of Taking Remediation at a Senior College
In addition to avoiding the need to confront the barriers to transferring back to a senior college, there are distinct benefits to students in taking their remedial courses at a senior college. First, the senior colleges have greater financial resources than do the community colleges and the quality of instruction cannot be wholly unrelated to the amount of money spent on it. The CUNY system spends nearly 30% less per full-time equivalent student ("FTE") on remediation at the community college level than at the senior college level. In the 1996-97 school year, for example, senior colleges spent $6,350 per remedial education FTE; meanwhile, the community colleges spent $4,660. According to the Schmidt Report supporting document, PricewaterhouseCoopers I, this disparity in costs-per-FTE results from two factors: "(1) economies of scale at the community colleges..., and (2) use of lower-paid faculty, including more adjunct faculty, at the community colleges."  To this list, remedial instructors add a third factor: remedial classes tend to be considerably larger at community colleges.
The resource gap between community colleges and senior colleges extends beyond remedial instruction. At CUNY senior colleges (excluding hybrids), 51.0% of the faculty are full-time while only 32.9% of the community college faculty are full-time. Senior colleges have a 21.9 student to full-time faculty member ratio while at the community colleges the student-faculty ratio is 36.3. CUNY senior colleges spent $8,463 per FTE on "Student/Instruction-Related Expenditures" ("S/I") (which include instruction, academic support, student services, institutional support, and plant operation and management) during the 1997-98 school year, while the community colleges spent $6,553. System-wide, the S/I cost per FTE has fallen 16% since 1988. This decline has been more drastic at the senior college level, however, than at the community college level (25% and 10%, respectively.)
These per-FTE costs, however, include a combination of all expenses such as plant operation and maintenance. More revealing is a comparison of expenditures spent exclusively on instruction and program delivery for basic skill remediation in CUNY's community and senior colleges. This is an area in which it is difficult to enjoy an economy of scale, since a single teacher can effectively teach only so many students. In the 1996 Fall semester, CUNY's senior colleges spent $4,545,000 on direct instruction and program delivery for basic skills remedial education and community colleges spent $17,091,000. In the same year, the senior colleges had 2,096 FTEs in Basic Skills classes, and the community colleges had 10,468. The senior colleges, then, spent $2168 on instruction and delivery for basic skills remediation per FTE; the community colleges spent $1,632. Thus, CUNY's community colleges spend 25% less on remedial instruction than CUNY senior colleges -- savings that are realized in crowded classrooms, overworked adjunct professors, and lowered expectations for community college students.
Second, there are, of course, also intangible benefits to attending a senior college. Marlene Springer, the President of the College of Staten Island told us that the senior college environment gives students hope and broadens their horizons.  This observation comports with the findings of Dr. Alexander W. Astin in his seminal study, What Matters in College? He found that:
Viewed as a whole, the many empirical findings from this study seem to warrant the following general conclusion: the student's peer group is the single most potent source of influence on growth and development during the undergraduate years.... When it comes to the student's affective development, one generalization seem clear: students' values, beliefs, and aspirations tend to change in the direction of the dominant values, beliefs and aspiration of the peer group.
The peer group at the community colleges is very often quite different than that at the senior colleges. In addition to having a major contingent in vocational and terminal occupational programs, the students at community colleges, including CUNY community colleges, tend to be older and to have more family responsibilities. Serving these students both at community and senior colleges is, of course, a vitally important function for CUNY. But Astin's work indicates that traditional first-time freshmen with senior college aspirations may benefit from having critical mass of a peer group more like themselves. Indeed, students have told us that because of perceptions that community colleges have less prestige or family pressure, they would have been less likely to attend CUNY if they had been required to fulfill their remedial needs at a community college. Presumably the Prelude to Success program recognizes these factors and accordingly is provided at the senior colleges (See pp. 55, et seq. below).
Impact on Colleges' Institutional Missions
One of the more troubling aspects of the proposed changes in remediation at CUNY is the fact that they run roughshod over the institutional missions and individuality of the constituent colleges of the system. The campuses have been given no choice in whether or when to implement the change and little, if any, flexibility in how to implement it.
The Problem of Inflexibility
The proposed Amendment is too rigid. In regard to remedial coursework, it does not allow for the necessary flexibility and discretion at individual campuses having different missions and appealing to the needs and interests of different segments of the CUNY student population. It does not allow for different types of remedial needs, such as the student who only needs one remedial course in algebra.
We agree with the observation
of the Consultants' Review that one,
Some senior colleges, however, have embraced the role of providing remedial coursework, which is so often needed by their diverse urban working class student bodies. They are proud to be able to take the students who through no fault of their own would be otherwise unable to attend college and educate them so that they will have at least the opportunity to better themselves economically. This has been the objective of City College and Lehman College, for example, and CUNY as a whole, for the last 30 years.
According to the Middle States Association Team that reviewed Lehman College's accreditation,
New York State Education Law 6201, of course, does place a limit on the mission autonomy of the constituent institutions of CUNY. We were, therefore, somewhat surprised to hear Dr. Allen Lee Sessoms, the President of Queens College, say that Queens is really more of a SUNY college, a "regional" university, than a part of CUNY, with almost half of its undergraduate student body coming from Nassau and Suffolk Counties rather than from the City of New York. Indeed, Queens College draws more heavily from Long Island than from the four boroughs other than Queens. Whatever the merits such an institution might have, this clearly does not fit within the statutory mission of CUNY to serve the New York City urban community and to give access to those who might otherwise be denied a higher education. Dr. Sessoms, however, believes that the key to increased funding is to build a strong connection with the middle class. He said that "the only people who benefit from open admissions are poor people and poor people don't vote."
With respect to raising standards, Dr. Sessoms was quite blunt in stating his view that excellence is largely to be measured by the achievement levels of the incoming students rather than a value added measure of raising the achievement of those less prepared at the outset: "[Expletive] in, [expletive] out. If you take in [expletive] and turn out [expletive] that is slightly more literate, you're still left with [expletive]."  He said that he was out to build Queens into a great University and the concept of "value-added" as a measure of excellence would not indicate to him that Queens is a great University. Dr. Sessoms has thus made explicit what may well be a large part of the unspoken reasoning behind the proposed Amendment, at least by some of its more vocal proponents in the political arena, i.e., that standards and excellence can only be raised by reducing access to the urban population for whom CUNY was created and maintained.
Impact at the College of Staten Island
The College of Staten Island ("CSI") is unique. It is the only CUNY institution in the borough, it is geographically isolated compared to others and less accessible by public transportation; has a different racial and ethnic profile (more whites); and relatively wealthier students. Most important in this context, it has a truly comprehensive liberal arts program, in which AA and BA students are fully integrated. According to its president, Marlene Springer, CSI is the result of a "shotgun marriage" in 1976 between Staten Island Community College and Richmond College (an upper-level institution.) For many years the two institutions remained on two separate campuses with two very different cultures. However, at least since they have come together geographically at the new Willowbrook campus, the two have melded into one institution with one faculty and one set of liberal arts courses. BA candidates and AA candidates attend the same classes, including remedial classes where necessary, and the corresponding core college level courses.
The proposed change in remediation will have virtually no effect on CSI. It is merely a question of bookkeeping. The students taking remedial coursework have all the benefits of being in a baccalaureate program. The high transfer rate may perhaps be explained by the fact that these students may remain at the same institution when they complete their remedial coursework and move formally over to the baccalaureate program, they need have no concern about transferring their credits. President Springer estimates that 80% of their baccalaureate graduates started out in the associate degree program as "open admission" students. The college also provides both a graduate degree program and some of the classic vocational education and certificate programs of a community college. To the extent that the proposed Amendment is predicated on the theory that the presence of students with remedial needs reduces the quality of education for the non-remedial students, continuing the arrangement at CSI would appear to contradict that reasoning.
The Budgetary Impact of Relocating Remediation
The proposed Amendment and the Schmidt Report each contain several very ambitious and praiseworthy programs, that have a number of unstated, but significant, costs. Under any circumstances, most of these programs would add tremendously to the quality of education at CUNY, and the Commission fully supports them. If, however, the major changes proposed by the Trustees are approved, it will become necessary to establish and nurture them prior to implementing changes in entrance requirements. Because the success or failure of changes in access to, and remediation at, the senior colleges is dependent upon the ability to put these programs into place, it is, therefore, incumbent upon us to note that many of them, if properly executed, can be quite costly.
We count no fewer than 20 program initiatives in the proposed Amendment, e.g., "Early identification of and intervention for students in academic difficulty," "New and Intensified System Initiatives," computer programs, outreach and recruitment efforts, etc. Each of these is highly resource-intensive. "Availability of faculty for academic and career counseling," for example, is a particularly excellent suggestion, but one that requires full-time faculty, rather than the adjunct staff which is so highly prevalent at CUNY. It is unclear what these initiatives will cost or how they will be funded.
As noted earlier, the costs of remediation at CUNY's community colleges are lower than at the senior colleges. But remediation at the community college level is also more highly subsidized by state and local funds than remediation at the senior college level. Further, 53% of the expenses currently associated with remediation at the senior college level are not direct instructional costs, but rather administrative, facilities, and testing expenses. Presumably, senior colleges will continue to be responsible for many of these expenses, even as they lose the students associated with these expenses. It is unclear to us at this time whether removing remedial coursework from senior colleges would create a net gain or loss for them from state higher education budgets. A careful analysis is needed of the financial and budgetary consequences to the senior colleges as a result of the loss of the students who will now be attending community colleges instead and who may not subsequently transfer at the completion of their remedial requirements. It is also important to consider the long-term implications for the City and State of fewer students in the senior colleges. Fewer potential graduates translates into fewer future human resources for economic stability and growth.
Contrary to common belief, even at CUNY's senior colleges remedial courses tend to garner more in revenues than they cost to deliver. In 1996-97, CUNY senior colleges spent an average of $9,754 per full-time equivalent ("FTE"), but just $6,350 per FTE in remediation. Arthur Hauptman of the Mayor's Task Force interprets these numbers to suggest that:
remediation may be generating substantial net revenue for the following reason: To the extent that overall revenues essentially equal overall costs within a system, if one type of education costs significantly less than another, it is reasonable to assume that the lower cost activity is subsidizing the higher cost activity.
Of course, such cross-subsidies are commonplace in academic administration: high-enrollment introductory sociology courses subsidize low-enrollment physics labs, law programs frequently subsidize medical education. The loss of remedial revenues may well hurt senior college budgets and thus the ability to fund their college level programs. It is unclear how senior colleges would make up for this revenue loss or whether the community colleges would enjoy substantial revenue gains under the proposed amendment.
By state law, CUNY community colleges and senior colleges receive government appropriations according to distinct formulas. While New York City has no responsibility for funding CUNY senior colleges, it is responsible for a portion of community college operating and capital costs. By statute, the City is responsible for one-third of operating costs, unless the community colleges implement "a program of full opportunity for local residents," in which case the city is responsible for four-fifteenths of operating costs. Further, state statute maintains that tuition and fees are not to exceed one-third of operating costs. Recently, however, the legislature has modified the funding scheme, waiving the tuition cap and allowing the city's responsibilities to shrink, as long as the city maintains effort. It is possible that these funding differences might hamper efforts to improve articulation and cooperation between senior and community colleges.
In addition to questions regarding funding mechanisms, there remains the perennial problem of inadequate funding of public higher education in the State of New York. So much of the success of CUNY's plan depends on continued availability of free summer immersion programs, the proposed but as yet undefined tutoring and support programs (cited in Chancellor Goldstein's budget requests) that we remain extremely cautious of reducing revenue generating support mechanisms (i.e., remedial courses) that currently exist in favor of undefined and as yet unfunded programs (i.e., tutoring centers and support services) that are in any event more costly to provide. We must ask: When push comes to shove, which programs will be prioritized in times of fiscal crisis?
Attempts to Mitigate the Adverse Effects of the New Policy
The impact of the Amendment will depend upon the success of programs newly designed, some fully in place but others not yet adequately funded.
With so much at stake, the Commission suggests that the Regents not approve the implementation of the Amendment until there has been an adequate opportunity to assess the results of the various programs intended to mitigate the adverse impact from any elimination of remedial coursework. The Regents' consultants recognize that the accuracy of the projections upon which they have based their recommendations cannot be fully assessed until implementation has actually begun. They recommend that the first phase of the plan be carefully monitored and that CUNY make appropriate adjustments if the projections "prove to understate the number of students affected" (p. 3). With all due respect, the Commission suggests that the Regents' responsibility for what in effect will be a change in admission standards requires them to have sufficient information on which to act. Approving the plan and then putting some type of monitoring in place does not satisfy this charge.
Prelude to Success
Among the other programs the Trustees believe will ease the transition to the new policy on remediation is the so-called Prelude to Success, as proposed by Hunter College and the Borough of Manhattan Community College ("BMCC"). According to the Hunter/BMCC proposal, Prelude to Success would allow students with minimal remedial needs to be admitted to Hunter on a conditional basis and fulfill their remedial requirements in BMCC courses administered on the Hunter campus. The Trustees cite the Prelude to Success program as a model. In fact, although the Amendment itself does not mandate that any of the colleges establish a Prelude to Success program, over the course of this past summer the program became the centerpiece of CUNY's argument in the Gomes litigation and elsewhere, that the proposed Amendment will actually affect very few students. CUNY administrators have predicted that at least some of the students who have 1) met the relatively stiff admissions requirements at the first four senior colleges implementing the changes in January, 2000, and 2) nevertheless have not passed all three placement tests even after an immersion program, will enter a Prelude to Success program or some similar program currently being negotiated among CUNY and the relevant senior and community colleges. Thus, the argument goes, the change in remedial education policy would have little real impact on them.
Allowing students who are deemed likely to complete their remedial coursework in one semester to do so on the campus of a senior college, this program is designed to give students with light remedial needs an opportunity to satisfy requirements, hopefully without sacrificing eventual senior college environment. The program would place students in blocks of courses designed to integrate remedial and college-level material. Further, it is intended to help students form study skills and social relationships that will help them learn after they enter into the senior college community.
In effect, the Prelude to Success consists of a community college operating an extension program on the campus of a senior college. Unlike associate degree candidates at the hybrid colleges such as the College of Staten Island, discussed above, the students in Prelude to Success will have community college faculty and community college courses and course numbers. Because the community college faculty who teach these courses will have to travel to a different campus, it seems likely that they will consist mostly, if not exclusively of adjuncts, rather than full-time tenured faculty. A student who, for example, chose City College for its engineering program would not be able to enroll in any of City's engineering courses, even if her remedial needs were confined to writing, not math. This program appears to be largely a matter of the location of classrooms. Unfortunately, the problems with articulation between the community and senior colleges still remain. Thus although the Prelude to Success students would receive some special attention, only time will tell whether they will have an easier time transferring their community college credits to the senior college than would the students who took the same courses in classrooms at the community college.
It is important to remember that the Prelude to Success program has never actually been tried. First proposed by Hunter and BMCC in response to the Trustees' January, 1999 Resolution, the program will accept its first class this spring semester. We find it disturbing that under the Trustees' resolution and proposed Amendment, this new untried concept will be imported into the next five senior colleges in the fall semester 2000 and the next two in the Fall 2001. The change in policy will then affect the far greater numbers who traditionally start in the fall and it will be imposed upon senior colleges (City, Lehman and York) which currently accept higher numbers and proportions of remedial students, including students with greater remedial needs, all without first assessing the impact and the success or failure of ending remedial coursework at the first four colleges in general, or of the Prelude to Success program in particular. The first few cohorts of students in the Prelude to Success will, if nothing else, be affected by being the subjects of an experiment. There is nothing inherently wrong with experimentation; no innovations would ever be tried without it. Nevertheless, it is only good educational practice to run the experiment more than once, and monitor and evaluate the results, before replicating it widely and with different populations.
CUNY-Based Summer Programs
The Amendment calls for the expansion of summer and inter-session programs, designed to help incoming students satisfy their remedial needs before enrolling. These programs are tuition-free, have been popular and, according to CUNY, quite successful. This summer, 17,000 students attended free University Summer Immersion Program ("USIP") courses, now offered at all 17 undergraduate campuses. CUNY notes that 95% of USIP students either complete their remedial work or advance to the next higher level in the subject for which they took summer classes. But, it is estimated, by CUNY, that only about 53% of the students who attend this program will satisfy all three CSAT's (or presumably the new tests) in time to actually enroll at the senior colleges at the end of the program. Since these are the only free remedial programs that we are aware of, it must also be noted that these immersion programs require full-time attendance, making them less accessible to students who need to work full-time, raise a family, or take care of other external responsibilities. Full-time attendance may be especially problematic for women. Fulfillment of CUNY's mission to serve New York City's urban population should not ignore those realities.
CUNY-Based Year-Round Immersion Programs
We do not know what the "year-round" immersion programs are. We only know that CUNY projects that 283 students in need of remedial coursework (after summer immersion or being exempted from taking the placement tests) will be enrolled in them instead of Prelude to Success or a community college. These programs do not currently exist, details regarding these programs have not yet been publicly disclosed.
CUNY and a number of its component institutions are justifiably proud of various programs that they have initiated in high schools; e.g., College Now. These programs are designed to prepare students for college work and to help them pass the placement tests before they arrive at the campuses. CUNY central administrators indicated to us that they are particularly eager to expand the funding for this program. Under College Now, the colleges provide outreach to the public high schools, identifying and testing students in their junior year of high school who may not pass the CUNY college assessment tests and would therefore require remediation. Those who fail one or more of the placement tests can work with CUNY faculty members, on the college campuses, to prepare them to pass these tests. Started at Kingsborough Community College in 1980 with a $2.9 million grant from the State, this program now operates at all the community colleges and 56 of the high schools with a $2 million budget, including $1.2 million appropriated by the City Council specifically for it, plus FTE funding based on the number of high school students who attend the program. Dr. Louise Mirrer, CUNY Vice Chancellor told us that if CUNY had $10 million, they could expand the program to all 230 City high schools and reach down to the junior high schools and educate students even earlier. The Commission fully supports this funding. There is, however, no indication that this amount of new money is being made available from any of CUNY's funding sources.
Other CUNY Initiatives
The proposed Amendment to the Master Plan provides a list of other programs and initiatives which are proffered as substitutes for remedial classes in the senior colleges. Some are not really new, having existed to some extent prior to now, e.g. "expanded collaborative programs with the New York City Public Schools" and "intensified instruction for SEEK and ESL students." Others require greater expenditures of already scarce financial resources, e.g. "improved counseling, advising, and student support services." Some of these programs both theoretically already exist and are underfunded, e.g. expanded Writing-Across-the-Curriculum programs. The Trustees also list some initiatives that may improve enrollment statistics -- e.g. "intensified recruitment efforts," and "greater provision for adult and continuing education students" -- but these will be of no benefit to those recent high school graduates who will require some remediation. In other words, the programs may help the CUNY institutions to maintain enrollment, but they will be of little comfort to many of the students those institutions have traditionally served.
The Amendment also speaks of recruiting students from the top 10% of their classes and from the specialized high schools. CUNY's long term enrollment projections may very well hinge to some extent upon the assumption that this recruitment effort will be successful. It is unclear, however, what the cost of a heavy recruitment push will be or how CUNY will fund it. We are concerned about what might be the Amendment's net effect on system enrollments and funding, particularly at the senior colleges which for the last 30 years have attracted students in need of extra help to prepare for college level work, should the recruitment efforts prove to be less than totally successful.
Finally, the Amendment calls for -- but does not indicate how it will enforce -- improved articulation between senior colleges and community colleges, in the hopes of easing the transition for those students required to take remedial courses at community colleges. The problem of articulation between community and senior colleges is not unique to CUNY. It is rather a pervasive and persistent problem nationally. Attempts to resolve it by fiat would undermine the autonomy of the faculty to set graduation requirements, but CUNY's track record for articulation agreements is not encouraging. Without identifying and implementing new transfer provisions, the Trustees' proposed changes to CUNY's remediation policy would certainly cause greater damage to the educational opportunities of many students, hoping to enroll in the CUNY senior colleges. (See pp. 39 et seq. above)
In sum, it is not clear whether these various ameliorative initiatives will be adequately funded or the extent to which any of them will in fact relieve the impact on students of the changes in remediation.
Other Ameliorative Proposals: Paying for Remediation
The Schmidt Report helpfully discusses how students pay for remediation (and the rest of their college educations). The two largest sources of financial aid for CUNY students are the New York State Tuition Assistance Plan ("TAP") and federal Pell grants. In addition, students can and often do take out loans to pay tuition. The Schmidt Report points out that although the Pell legislation allows students to receive federal aid for up to one year of purely remedial coursework, TAP regulations have several requirements that make it difficult for post-secondary students to finance remedial courses. Students are generally limited to four academic years of study and only full-time, degree students who are taking at least three college-level credits during the first semester and at least six college-level credits during each subsequent semester are eligible for TAP. Students must also maintain a certain level of academic progress as measured by the successively greater number of courses taken, credits earned and minimum GPA. The drawbacks for the CUNY student population are obvious: The most economically disadvantaged students also tend to be those most in need of pre-college remedial work.
The Task Force goes on to recommend review and revision of the TAP rules to make TAP available for remedial courses as well as college-level coursework. This aid used to be available and was known as Supplemental TAP. The Report also argues that "New York City and New York State must recognize that remedial education is an unfortunate necessity that is not going to disappear in the short run, and the Mayor and the Governor must work together to identify funds that can be used to finance it.  This Commission fully supports those recommendations.
As noted above, the Schmidt Report had a number of component reports done by staff or consultants. One of the underlying Rand Corporation reports goes beyond the main Schmidt Report to recommend that all remedial courses should be provided free, pointing out that students are currently required to pay and sometimes take out loans for "services they should have received for free in K-12 education."  This recommendation also seems eminently reasonable to us.
The Tests - Remediation and Admissions - A "Moving Target"?
Up to and including the Fall semester of 1999, CUNY has administered three tests to its incoming students: the Writing Assessment Test ("WAT"), the Reading Assessment Test ("RAT"), and the Mathematics Assessment Test ("MAT"). Collectively these exams were known as the College Skills Assessment Tests ("CSAT's") or sometimes known as Freshman Skills Assessment Tests ("FSAT's") -- the latter is a particular misnomer since the tests were given at various stages in a student's career, both for placement and exit purposes. These tests were used by CUNY colleges to determine the remedial needs of incoming students. Under terms of the proposed Amendment as submitted to the Board of Regents, these assessment examinations would assume a new responsibility. Since the Amendment would deny senior college admissions to students placed in remedial courses, the Amendment would reposition the CSAT's as admissions tests.
On September 8, 1999, while the Regents were holding their first public hearing on the proposed Amendment, the Committee on Academic Policy, Program, and Research ("CAPPR") of the CUNY Board of Trustees voted to recommend a change in the testing program. On September 27, the full Board voted to require that "all colleges use common objective tests reflecting national norms, and other assessments as deemed necessary, to determine when students who have been placed in remedial coursework qualify for exit from remediation,..."  The Chancellor, in consultation with others, is to designate suitable tests to be fully implemented by the Spring 2000 semester. At the Board meeting, Chancellor Goldstein reported that the administration had decided to continue to use the CUNY CMAT for math, but had issued a request for proposals to major test companies to get bids for a reading and writing test.
Although the testing resolution speaks exclusively in terms of "exit" from remediation, it is apparent that the yet to be identified tests will be used for at least two additional purposes: 1) placement in remedial coursework and, as a consequence of such placement, 2) denial of admission to a senior college. Once again, because of the requirement of the proposed Amendment to eliminate remedial coursework from the senior colleges, CUNY has conflated two functions, admissions and remediation placement, which ought to be separate and distinct and for which no single test can properly serve. In discussing the new "exit" tests, the chancellor was thus obliged to explain how these tests will work as part of the admissions process. All applicants will henceforth be required to take the SAT. Admissions decisions will be based on a combination (to be specified by each senior college) of high school grades, SAT scores, Regents' test scores, the number of college preparatory courses completed, class rank, and possibly AP courses. This is an excellent plan. It uses multiple criteria and apparently gives at least some flexibility to the individual senior colleges. But there is a catch: In order to be relieved of the requirement of taking and passing the new exit/placement tests, a student will still be required to score at least 500 each on the Verbal and Math portions of the SAT, a 21 on the ACT, or a 75 on the relevant Regents exams. Students accepted at a senior college with lower SAT, ACT, or Regents' scores will now be required to take and pass the new placement/exit tests in order to actually enroll at the college that has already "accepted" them. As a practical matter, therefore, CUNY will set a minimum test score as a requirement for admission to all its senior colleges, regardless of grades, difficulty of courses taken, or any other factor which may theoretically figure in determining admissions.
The CUNY leadership, which in the past had resisted any change from the CSAT's and defended their use, in reality had no choice but to abandon these thoroughly discredited tests now. First of all, the Schmidt Report sharply criticized the CSAT's, unequivocally stating that they "do not meet generally accepted scientific standards of reliability, validity, and fairness. The CUNY writing assessment test, in particular, is highly unreliable."  Then on June 7, 1999, in a move that was ultimately enjoined by Court order, the Mayor and City Council added a rider to the FY 2000 budget appropriations providing that no funds would be made available to CUNY unless, by September 30, 1999, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to be implemented in the current academic year, that all community colleges must use "an objective test, reflecting nationally based standards, to determine when students who have been placed in remediation programs successfully achieve college readiness and are prepared to exit from remediation."
Replacing the CSAT's is necessary but insufficient. Without knowing what the new placement/exit and (realistically) admissions tests are or what cut score(s) will be, we cannot be entirely sanguine about them. There are two major problems with this testing scheme. First, it will have the effect of using one test, standing alone, to make a very high stakes decision: barring an otherwise qualified student from senior college. Second, these tests, as well as those used to exempt students from them (i.e., the SAT and the ACT) may very well have the effect of disproportionately excluding low-income students, urban students, minorities, and women from the senior colleges.
Use of a Test as a Sole Criterion for a High Stakes Decision
College admissions and testing professionals universally agree that a test should be used only for the purpose for which it was designed and validated and that even a validated test should not be used as the sole deciding factor in a high-stakes decision, such as college admissions.
[W]e believe that no single factor should be used as the sole criterion for any important educational decision. No single test can give a complete picture of an individual, and we urge score users to view a test as simply one of the many pieces of information available about a student.
The "Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing" published by the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education (1985) ("APA Standards") provide:
In elementary or secondary education, a decision or characterization that will have major impact on a test taker should not automatically be made on the basis of a single test score.
There is no reason why the same should not be true of higher education decisions as well. See also, National Association of College Admissions Counselors Code of Ethics III. A. 3. and 4. (minimum test scores should not be used as a sole criterion for admission and should be used in conjunction with other data.)
It is vital that any new test not only be reliable and professionally validated for the purpose for which it is to be used, i.e., as in effect an admissions test, but also that CUNY establish a cut score that is meaningful and reasonable in the circumstances and that the test not be used as a sole determinant for admissions. The SAT is designed and has been validated only to predict first-year grades in college, and as noted above, ETS, the designer and manufacturer of the SAT, recommends that it not be used as the sole determinant for a high stakes decision. The same would be true of any standardized placement test ultimately selected by CUNY to replace the reading and writing CSAT's. If failure to attain a minimum score on one of these tests, presumably designed and validated for the purposes of placement in and/or exit from remediation, becomes a bar to admission to a senior college, that would be a misuse of the test.
Fairness and Standardized Tests
The use of minimum SAT scores as an exemption from the placement tests, along with the general use of an as yet unidentified standardized test to exclude students from senior college illustrates the problems associated with the use of standardized tests with respect to the intended beneficiaries of a CUNY education. It is a sad, but undeniable, fact that scores on standardized tests tend to correlate with parental income and parental education levels, that on average minorities tend to score lower than whites, women tend to score lower than men, and people from urban and rural areas tend to score lower than suburbanites.(Tables 6 to 9 are illustrative.) Obviously, there may be many complicated and interrelated reasons for this, but the fact remains that CUNY is supposed to serve the urban poor, people of color, and immigrants. Relying on these tests to bar entry to a senior college will very likely stratify the student body of CUNY in a manner inconsistent with its mission. Such heavy reliance is particularly troubling for a university whose mission includes equality of access for urban populations (see Table 10) and for institutions serving students who are frequently the first in their families to attend college. (See Table 11.)
1999 is the first year in which all New York State students were required
to take Regents examinations to graduate from high school, and the first
year in which the "Mathematics A Regents Examination" is being administered.
These tests have not yet been repeatedly administered to a broad population,
and thus there is no way to gauge their impact on CUNY admissions at this
1999 Average SAT Scores (by race/ethnicity and gender)
for College Bound Seniors were:
|American Indian or Alaskan Native||484
|Asian , Asian Amer., or Pacific Is.
|Black or African American
|Females(54% of total)||502||495||997|
|All Test Takers||505||512||1017|
1999 Average SAT Scores (by family income):
|Less than $10,000 per year
$10,000 - 20,000
$20,000 - 30,000
$30,000 - 40,000
$40,000 - 50,000
$50,000 - 60,000
$60,000 - 70,000
$70,000 - 80,000
$80,000 - 100,000
More than $100,000 per year
Average 1999 ACT Scores (by race, ethnicity
|African American / Black
American Indian / Alaskan Native
Asian American / Pacific Islander
Mexican / Chicano
Puerto Rican / Cuban / Other Hispanic
All Test Takers
1999 ACT Scores (by family income)
|Less than $18,000 per year
$18,000 - 24,000
$24,000 - 30,000
$30,000 - 36,000
$36,000 - 42,000
$42,000 - 50,000
$50,000 - 60,000
$60,000 - 80,000
$80,000 - 100,000
More than $100,000 per year
Urban and rural students score below average; suburban
students score above average
Source: News from the College Board (Chart 7)
1999 Mean SAT Scores by Highest Level of Parental Education
|No High School Diploma
High School Diploma
Source: "News from the College Board" Sept. 1999.
Realistic Cut Scores
CUNY students do fairly well on the SATs, but the suggested cut off score of 500 on the Verbal portion and 500 on the Math portion would presumably exclude at least half of the students currently attending even the most selective senior college in the CUNY system (Baruch). There, the mean total SAT score of its student body was 1012 in 1998, the most recent year for which data is available. (The national mean score for all college bound senior test takers in 1999 was 1017 (See Table 6.). The other senior colleges had even lower mean SAT scores; the senior college average was 971, with 86.6% of the CUNY senior college population reporting scores. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), students scoring 960 are considered to be "moderately qualified for college." Students with 1110 are "highly qualified."  If the 500/500 cut off is any indication of the score level to be used in the regular admissions process, this means that virtually all CUNY baccalaureate entrants would have to have performed at or above the national average.
This would make admissions criteria at CUNY's senior colleges higher than at most SUNY colleges, where mean composite SAT scores cluster in the low 1000s, and at least 25% of the regularly admitted first-time students score below 1000 on the SAT at 16 of the 24 SUNY schools that require SAT scores for admission.
CONCLUSIONS and RECOMMENDATIONS on Remediation
With respect to the removal of all remedial coursework from the senior colleges as proposed by Trustees Amendment to the Master Plan, the Commission has come to the following conclusions:
In the event that the Amendment is, nevertheless, approved in whole or it part, we recommend that:
Legal Analysis and Standard of Review
The proposed Amendment to the Master Plan to eliminate remedial courses from all baccalaureate programs is just that, a proposal. The responsibility rest with the Board of Regents as to whether it should be approved. In exercising its independent judgment, the deference given to the Trustees of CUNY should depend upon the extent to which the Trustees exercised their duties in reaching their decision. It is black letter law that Trustees have a duty to inform themselves, prior to making a business decision, of all material information reasonably available to them. Aronson v. Lewis, 473 A.2d 805, 812 (Del. 1984). Although the cited case involved a business corporation, the Trustees standards are no less in a public context.
The record shows that the Trustees of CUNY, when approving the proposed Amendment did not have some of the most basic information available to them affecting their decision. Nor did they engage in the kind of debate necessary to explore the impact that their decision would have. It is noteworthy that three of the Trustees voted against the plan and one abstained.
The Regents' decision should, of course, take cognizance of the legislative intent that CUNY continue to maintain and expand its commitment to academic excellence and to the provision of equal access and opportunity for students, faculty and staff from all racial and ethnic groups and from both sexes.
In addition to its obligations under New York State law, the Board of Regents should also consider the requirements of federal law, in particular federal civil rights law. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000(d), prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin by any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. 1681, prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Both statutes have been held to prohibit intentional discrimination, but the Supreme Court has also held that, under regulations promulgated by the United States Department of Education pursuant to the Titles VI and IX, policies and practices that have disparate effect or impact on a group protected by statutes are also prohibited. As discussed in the body of the report, the proposed Amendment will have disproportionate adverse effect on women and on racial and ethnic minorities. If that can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence, the new policy will have to meet the standard of substantial legitimate justification. If the policy meets that standard, it may still violate the law if there exists a comparable effective alternative practice which would result in less disproportionality, or if the proffered justification is a pretext for discrimination.
This requirement applies both to the proposed new policy as a whole, as well as to its component parts, i.e., it applies to the policy decision to prohibit remedial instruction for anyone enrolled in a baccalaureate program, and to the tests used to make this selection. In the context of testing, it means that if a test has disparate impact on the basis of race, national origin, or gender it must have a substantial educational justification or it is a violation of Title VI or Title IX. To meet the substantial legitimate justification standard for a high stakes educational test requires a showing that the test is valid and reliable for the purpose for which it is being used. If such a showing is made, the use of the test may nonetheless be impermissible if a less discriminatory practical alternative will serve the educational purpose as well.
In its draft resource guide, the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education has stated unequivocally that "[w]here a test is being used as the sole or principal criterion for making educational decisions and where it was clearly not designed to be used as such, there is no basis upon which to conclude that the test is educationally necessary.  Although the question of what test(s) will be used for the purposes of placement in remediation is still undecided, the legal implications are clear. To the extent that any placement/exit test that has disparate impact is to be used standing alone to bar students from admission to a senior college, it may violate federal civil rights law. The Board of Regents is obligated to take this into account.
As to the policy as a whole, there is, of course substantial evidence that minorities and women will be disproportionately affected. First, they will be barred from baccalaureate programs at a higher rate. Equally damaging for many young people covered by the SEEK and ESL exemptions (the vast majority of whom are members of racial and ethnic minorities), they will be enrolled in baccalaureate programs at senior colleges but will be denied the remedial courses they will need in order to succeed and prosper in college.
Furthermore, since the Board of Regents has jurisdiction over the educational policies and practices of all higher education institutions in New York State, it must also be mindful of the fact that a majority of senior colleges in the state, in particular, all the senior institutions in SUNY, continue to provide remedial instruction. Thus, if the Regents approve the proposed Amendment to the Master Plan and remove all remedial classes from the senior colleges of CUNY, a majority of whose students are members of racial and ethnic minorities, they may be sanctioning a state policy that provides remedial education to a largely white senior college populations around the state while at the same time denying it to a largely minority student population in New York City. This may, in and of itself, be a violation of Title VI.
Measures of Excellence
The much discussed college ratings of publications such as U.S. News & World Report are based upon criteria which heavily disadvantage CUNY. In addition to the SAT scores of incoming freshmen, they look to student/faculty ratios, percent of faculty who are full-time, and this year "U.S. News tweaked its methodology, putting more emphasis on how much a school spends on its students. That gave Caltech [ranked the number one university this year] " which spends $192,000 annually per student to educate its undergrads in state-of-the-art labs -- a big boost."  Significantly, "U.S. News acknowledges that its rankings include no criteria for what is actually taught at these schools, nothing on curriculum or what students actually get out of their education... The magazine's ability to consider such factors as how well a college trains its graduates for their particular field is constrained," explains Alvin Sanoff, who was managing editor of the survey until last year, "by the paucity of data on what happens to a college's graduates after they leave their alma mater." 
To the extent that CUNY or it's supporters have been able to assemble information on the success of its graduates the picture is encouraging and demonstrates that CUNY is indeed succeeding by a "value added" standard.
The credentials, in particular the SAT scores of in coming freshmen, play an inordinately large role in computing of the "rank" accorded to colleges and universities by publications such as U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review's Best 331 Colleges as well as by common understanding of what constitutes a prestigious and therefore excellent school. But the Mayor's Task Force points to another, more appropriate measure for CUNY:
In a complex system such as CUNY, where the goals and preparation levels of incoming students vary widely from college to college, performance standards must attempt to measure the value added by the college, accounting for baseline differences in student populations and reflecting appropriate differences in the academic missions of CUNY institutions. 
Accrediting agencies have often had high praise for CUNY institutions. Some samples follow. "Report to the Faculty, Administration, Trustees, Students of Brooklyn College" Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 1999:
Report to the Faculty, Administration, Trustees, Students of the City College of New York -- Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 1998:
"Report to the Faculty, Administration, Trustees, Students of Lehman College" Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 1999:
"Report to the Faculty, Administration, Trustees, Students of New York City Technical College" Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 1997:
"Report to the Faculty, Administration, Trustees, Students of Queens College" Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 1995:
[ ] 1CUNY, Investing in New York's Future: The CUNY Portfolio, 1998. Return to Text
[ ] 2Amendment to the Master Plan of the City University of New York, filed with the Board of Regents, June 28,1999, ("Amendment"). Return to Text
[ ] 3 Both the Schmidt Report and its underlying reports will be referred to throughout this document. The PricewaterhouseCoopers Reports will be referred to as "PwC I," PwC II," and PwC III," respectively. Return to Text
[ ] 4 The work of the Commission was funded by a grant from the New York Community Trust. Return to Text
[ ] 5 "6201. 3: "The legislature's intent is that the city university be supported as an independent and integrated system of higher education on the assumption that the university will continue to maintain and expand its commitment to academic excellence and to the provision of equal access and opportunity for students, faculty and staff from all ethnic and racial groups and from both sexes." ?6201. 5: "Only the strongest commitment to the special needs of an urban constituency justifies the legislature's support of an independent and unique structure for the university." Return to Text
[ ] 6 See e.g., Herman Badillo, "Why CUNY Needs Standardized Tests," New York Post, September 19, 1999; and Heather MacDonald "Downward Mobility: The Failure of Open Admissions at City University," City Journal, Summer, 1994 et al. Return to Text
[ ] 7 Consultants' Review, p. 10. Return to Text
[ ] 8 PricewaterhouseCoopers, Report III: Revenues and Expenditures Report, prepared for the Mayor's Advisory Task Force on CUNY, February, 1999,(" PwC III"), pp. 48-49. Return to Text
[ ] 9PwC III, p. 46. Return to Text
[ ] 10 New York State ranks 42 and 46 in rankings of state higher education appropriations per capita and per $1000 income, respectively, according to Grapevine: The National Database of Tax Support for Higher Education. In 1998-99, the state spent $166.91 per person on higher education, compared to California's $223.36 and New Mexico's $297.79.(pp. 13,16) Return to Text
[ ] 11For constant dollar appropriations see PwC III pp. 48-52. For appropriations as a percentage of revenue see CUNY Funding Summary, Community Colleges (undated.) Return to Text
[ ] 12 Consultants' Review p. 12. Return to Text
[ ] 13Ibid., p. 3. Return to Text
[ ] 14 See pp.15, 35, et sec below for a description of the SEEK and ESL programs and their exemption from the policy with respect to admissions to senior college, but not with respect to the denial of remedial courses. Return to Text
[ ] 15 Baruch, Brooklyn, City, Hunter, Lehman, Queens and York and bachelor's programs at John Jay, Medgar Evers, New York City Technical, and the College of Staten Island. Return to Text
[ ] 16 Admissions standards at CUNY colleges have varied a great deal over the years. In 1924, the Free Academy and the municipal college system agreed to base admission solely on a minimum high school GPA. Between 1924 and the implementation of open admissions in 1970, that minimum varied from 75 to the low 90s, according to Sally Renfro and Allison Armour-Garb's "Open Admissions and Remedial Education at the City University of New York" (prepared for the Mayor's Task Force, April, 1999, pp. 13-14.) Currently at Queens College, one of the system's most selective schools, the base high school grade point average for admissions purposes is 85 (Approved Queens College Freshman Admissions Criteria, December 15, 1998.) Return to Text
[ ] 17 Under the newly adopted policy, CUNY will replace its own reading and writing tests with "objective tests reflecting national norms, and other assessments as deemed necessary" for the purpose of deciding placement in and exit from remedial coursework, Resolution of the Board of Trustees, passed September 27, 1999. In other respects the proposed Amendment apparently maintains the status quo. Return to Text
[ ] 18 These tests were severely criticized by the Schmidt Report and others (See below at pp. 64 et seq.) Return to Text
[ ] 19"Basic Skills and ESL at the City University of New York," CUNY Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, February 1998, Table 13. Return to Text
[ ] 20Clifford Adelman, presentation before the Board of Regents, October 19, 1999, Table 5. Return to Text
[ ] 21 In the past, CUNY has not required that prospective students submit SAT scores to be considered for admission. Thus, 86.6% of the first-time baccalaureate freshmen enrolling in CUNY's senior colleges submitted SAT scores in 1998 (Patricia Hassett, "Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) Scores Fall 1998 v. Fall 1997," August 17, 1999 Memo to Interim Chancellor Kimmich.) CUNY has arranged for the College Board to administer the SAT without cost at four CUNY institutions with the scores to be reported only to CUNY. Return to Text
[ ] 22 "Proposed Admissions Process: CUNY's Baccalaureate Programs." This is a flow chart distributed to the Board of Trustees by Chancellor Goldstein on September 27, 1999 in support of the resolution changing the remediation placement and exit tests. Hereinafter "Admissions Flow Chart." See Exhibit 1. Return to Text
[ ] 23 The SEEK program ("Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge") is mandated at CUNY by Education Law ? 6452. CUNY is required to provide (and receives separate specifically earmarked funding for) special programs for students who, inter alia, are "economically and educationally disadvantaged." The legislation requires that these students receive screening, testing, counseling, tutoring, and other assistance and contemplates that they will, but does not require that they do, receive "remedial courses, developmental and compensatory courses, and summer classes." ? 6452(4)(a)(ii). By definition, therefore, these are students who would not normally qualify for admission to a senior college but are to admitted nonetheless. See Exhibit 2. Return to Text
[ ] 24 For a discussion of the definition of ESL students in this context, see p. 35, below. Return to Text
[ ] 25 Admissions Flow Chart, n. 2. The SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge) program was established by the New York State Legislature in 1966. Under to the statute (N.Y. Education Law ?6452), CUNY is required to provide admissions and special assistance for "economically and educationally disadvantaged" students. Return to Text
[ ] 26 See, The City University of New York: 2000-2001 Budget Request: A Commitment to Quality, approved by the Board of Trustees Committee on Fiscal Affairs, Oct. 5, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 27 Described below at pp. 55, et seq. Return to Text
[ ] 28 We do not know the basis of the 75 Regents score, i.e., whether it was calculated to be in any way comparable to 500's on the relevant SAT or was simply an arbitrary number. Return to Text
[ ] 29"Testimony of Chancellor Matthew Goldstein Before the New York State Board of Regents," supplement, September 9, 1999. p. 2. Return to Text
[ ] 30 Ibid. Return to Text
[ ] 31CUNY Office of Academic Affairs, "The College Preparatory Initiative: Mid-Point Review." Fall, 1997. Return to Text
[ ] 32 Prior to the Board of Trustees action, Baruch had already stopped offering remedial classes per se, but continued to admit students who met their relatively stringent admissions criteria but who nevertheless were deemed to require some remediation. Instead of formal classes, Baruch provided a privately funded tutoring center to help these students with their college level work. Return to Text
[ ] 33Readiness for Postsecondary Education, 1997- 1998. Florida Department of Education. April, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 34 Students accepted to a Florida senior college, but placed in remedial courses, can enroll in the senior college, even as they take remedial courses from community colleges. These students are not removed from the senior college, they are not required to change their enrollment status, and they are not required to transfer from community college to senior college once they have completed their remedial work. Ibid. Return to Text
[ ] 35 pp. 31-32. Return to Text
[ ] 36 Interview with Martha Bell, Chair of the SEEK program at Brooklyn College, July 8, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 37Brooklyn College Self-Study, FIPSE grant application package. Return to Text
[ ] 38 Consultants' Review, p. 11. Return to Text
[ ] 39 "Phase-In Schedule, Proposed Resolution: Percentage Decline from 1997-98 Base Enrollment of New Bachelor's Students: Regular and SEEK." CUNY Office of Institutional Research, submitted to Interim Chancellor Kimmich May 19, 1998. Return to Text
[ ] 40 "Amendment to the Master Plan, p. 3. Return to Text
[ ] 41 "Projected Outcomes of First-time Freshmen Admitted to CUNY Senior Colleges In Fall of First Year Under the January 25 Policy on Remediation." CUNY Office of Institutional Research, July 4, 1999. See Exhibit 3. Return to Text
[ ] 42 "Projected Outcomes of First-time Freshmen Admitted to CUNY Senior Colleges In Fall of First Year Under the January 25 Policy on Remediation (Revised Estimate)." CUNY Office of Institutional Research, September 1, 1999. See Exhibit 4. Return to Text
[ ] 43"Performance of First-time Freshmen on the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests: First-time Freshmen Regularly Admitted to Baccalaureate Programs, Fall 1999." CUNY Office of Institutional Research, October 6, 1999. See Exhibit 5. Return to Text
[ ] 44CUNY Office of Institutional Research, CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1998 (Draft) Table 13B, 27, 28, 37B, 39. CUNY Office of Institutional Research, Tables: "Summer 1999 Skills Immersion Participants, by Fall 1998 Enrollment Status", "Trends in Skills Assessment Test Pass Rates, Regular First-time Freshmen Entering Baccalaureate Programs: Fall 1995 to Fall 1998," "Performance on the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests: Percent Passing Reading, Writing and Math Skills Tests Regular Fall 1997 and Fall 1998 First-time Freshmen," "Total Fall 1997 and Fall 1998 First-time Freshmen," and "Special Programs Fall 1997 and Fall 1998 First-time Freshmen." See Exhibits 9-15. Return to Text
[ ] 45 This estimate will be further complicated by the subsequent resolution to use a new test for reading and writing placement. Return to Text
[ ] 46 According to CUNY's Office of Institutional Research and Analysis's "Performance of First-time Freshmen on the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests: First-time Freshmen Regularly Admitted to Baccalaureate Programs, Fall 1999," October 6, 1999, 79.3% of CUNY's first-time freshmen are projected to have passed all three CSAT's by the beginning of the current semester. This document is, however, still a projection informed by many of the assumptions that underlie CUNY's early projections, and using preliminary data that is not yet reliable. Return to Text
[ ] 47 CUNY Office of Institutional Research and Analysis projections included in the Trustee's Amendment to the Master Plan, prepared June 24, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 48 Institution Projections, Brooklyn, City College, and Lehman, April, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 49 CUNY Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, "Basic Skills and ESL At The City University of New York: An Overview." February, 1998. Table 5. Return to Text
[ ] 50 CUNY Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, "Projected Enrollment by Racial/Ethnicity Status and Borough of Residence: Senior Colleges, Fall 1998 to Fall 2003." July 24, 1999. Attached as Table 3c to the Trustees Amendment. Return to Text
[ ] 51Interview with Lois Cronholm, former interim President, Baruch College. August 10, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 52 See n. 23, above. Return to Text
[ ] 53 Interview with Vice Chancellor Louise Mirrer, August 13, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 54 Immigration/Migration and the CUNY Student of the Future, City University of New York, Winter 1995, pp. 47-49. Return to Text
[ ] 55 p. 7. Return to Text
[ ] 56 Ibid. Return to Text
[ ] 57 See generally, Arthur M.,Cohen and Florence B. Brawer, The American Community College,(3rd Edition), Jossey-Bass, Inc, San Francisco, 1996; Dale Parnell, The Neglected Minority, Community College Press, Washington D.C., 1985; Maurice D. Weidenthal,, Who Cares About the Inner City? The Community College Response to Urban America, Association of Community and Junior Colleges, National Center for Higher Education, Washington, D.C. 1989. Return to Text
[ ] 58 Any out-sourcing of remediation to private providers would, of course, dramatically reduce access to the system. Return to Text
[ ] 59 Interview with Lenore Beaky, Professor of English, LaGuardia Community College, September 14, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 60 For a discussion of the importance of this role, see New York State's Community Colleges: Cost-Effective Engines of Educational Access and Economic Development, Report of State Comptroller H. Carl McCall, March, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 61 Dougherty, Kevin. The Contradictory College: The Conflicting Origins, Impacts, and Futures of the Community College. Albany: SUNY Press, 1994. Return to Text
[ ] 62Alexander Astin, What Matters in College? The Josey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series (1993), at xiv. Return to Text
[ ] 63"Report to the Faculty, Administration, Trustees, Students of Lehman College" Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 1999, pp.1-2. Return to Text
[ ] 64 CUNY Student Data Book, Table 39 Return to Text
[ ] 65 Schmidt Report, p. 82. See also the underlying Rand Corporation report, Gill, Brian P. Governance of the City University of New York: A System at Odds with Itself, which states that "In some cases it is easier for a CUNY community college graduate to transfer to a 4-year college outside of CUNY than to another CUNY college." (pp. 14-15.) Return to Text
[ ] 66PricewaterhouseCoopers, "Report II: Planning and Budgeting at the City University of New York," December 1998. Return to Text
[ ] 67PwC II p. 8. Return to Text
[ ] 68Arthur M. Hauptman, "Financing Remediation at CUNY on a Performance Basis: A Proposal," prepared for the Mayor's Task Force, May, 1999, p. 7. Return to Text
[ ] 69PWC I, p. 31. Return to Text
[ ] 70Interview with an adjunct writing instructor who has taught at both senior and community colleges. Return to Text
[ ] 71CUNY Statistical Profile, appendix D. (Data is from 1997.) Return to Text
[ ] 72 Ibid. Return to Text
[ ] 73As defined by Mary Kim, "CUNY Statistical Profile, 1980-1998," RAND, April 1999, p. 7. Return to Text
[ ] 74 Kim, p. 9. Return to Text
[ ] 75PwC I, pp.16, 25. Return to Text
[ ] 76Interview with Marlene Springer, President, and Mirella Affron, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, College of Staten Island, August 25, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 77Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 1993. Return to Text
[ ] 78 Ibid. at p. 398 (Emphasis in the original.) Return to Text
[ ] 79Arthur M. Cohen and Florence B. Brawer, The American Community College, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, Third Edition, 1996, Chapter 8. Return to Text
[ ] 80 CUNY Student Data Book, Fall 1997, Table 20. Return to Text
[ ] 81 Interviews held at Brooklyn College, July 8, 1999 with Brooklyn College SEEK students. Return to Text
[ ] 82 In this regard, the findings presented by Clifford Adelman, Senior Research Analyst at the U.S. Department of Education, to the Board of Regents on October 19, 1999 are particularly relevant. In studying transcripts of students from urban areas in the Mid-Atlantic region, Dr. Adelman found that students with remedial reading needs are more likely to graduate if they take remedial courses at community colleges, but other students, particularly those who are not English language dominant and have remedial writing needs, are better served by senior colleges. In its one-size-fits-all approach, the proposed Amendment makes it impossible for individual colleges to tailor its remedial treatments to students' unique needs. Return to Text
[ ] 83 Consultants' Review p. 12. Return to Text
[ ] 84 The Consultants' Review, despite its endorsement of the first phase of the proposed Amendment is quite critical of this aspect of the plan, pp.12-13. Return to Text
[ ] 85"Report to the Faculty, Administration, Trustees, Students of Lehman College" Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 1999, p. 1-2. Return to Text
[ ] 86 Interview with Allen Lee Sessoms, September 21, 1999. He made the same assertions at the Regents hearing on September 8, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 87 "Only the strongest commitment to the special needs of an urban constituency justified the legislature's support of an independent and unique structure for the university." New York State Education Law ? 6201. 5. Return to Text
[ ] 88 Ibid. Return to Text
[ ] 89 CUNY's other hybrid institutions, John Jay College, Medgar Evers College, and New York City Technical College, also integrate AA and BA students but, unlike CSI, neither John Jay nor New York Tech is primarily a general liberal arts college. Return to Text
[ ] 90 In this regard, it is interesting to note that Deena New, the CSI student who testified in favor of the Amendment at the Regents' hearing on October 19, 1999, stated that she had never been in a class with remedial students. This seems unlikely, given the high number of students at CSI who enter with some type of remedial needs. She also noted that her classes were very challenging. This may indicate that the issue of having students with mixed abilities and preparation levels was dealt with in some satisfactory way. Return to Text
[ ] 91Amendment, pp. 4, 5, 12-14, respectively. Return to Text
[ ] 92 State aid accounts for 28% of remedial revenues at senior colleges. At community colleges, the state funds 24% of the remedial budget and the city funds 12%, for a total of 36% of remedial funding from government aid. PwC I, p. 33. Return to Text
[ ] 93 PwC I, p. 22. Return to Text
[ ] 94 Hauptman, Arthur, "Financing Remediation at CUNY on a Performance Basis: A Proposal" prepared for the Mayor's Advisory Task Force on CUNY, May, 1999, p. 7. Return to Text
[ ] 95 Education Law,? 6304 Return to Text
[ ] 96 Section 56, Chapter 169, The Law of New York, 1994, interpreted by Justice Carol H. Arber, in Camilo v. Giuliani, 163 Misc.2d 1020, 622 N.Y.S.2d 885 (Sup. Ct. New York County, 1995). Return to Text
[ ] 97 Amendment, Section IV. A. (p. 12). Return to Text
[ ] 98 Gomes v. Board of Trustees of CUNY (Supreme Court of New York, County of New York, Index No. 121848/98 IAS Part 6, Wilk, J.). Return to Text
[ ] 99 In his statement to the Board of Regents on October 19, 1999, Chancellor Goldstein made this argument, saying that the Prelude to Success is a "creative and inspiring program" and "nothing more than the strict enforcement of an articulation agreement between community and senior colleges." Return to Text
[ ] 100 The program in Florida is similar in that it has community college faculty teaching remedial courses at senior college campuses. However, the students enrolled in these courses take senior college non-remedial courses taught by senior college faculty at the same time. Florida Department of Education, Readiness for Postsecondary Education 1997-98. April 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 101Amendment, Appendix #2, telephone interview with Eija Ayravainen, Assistant Provost of Academic Affairs and director of block programs, Hunter College. Return to Text
[ ] 102 Since three of the five second phase colleges, College of Staten Island, John Jay College, and New York City Technical College, are hybrids the major impact will be felt at the City College and Lehman College which have only baccalaureate programs. The final phase involves one hybrid, Medgar Evers (which actually has had very few baccalaureate students to begin with) and one senior college, York. Return to Text
[ ] 103"Record-Breaking Number of Students Sign Up This Year for CUNY's Summer Skills Immersion Program." CUNY Office of University Relations, July 13, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 104Amendment, p. 8. Return to Text
[ ] 105 CUNY Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, "Performance of First-time Freshmen on the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests: First-time Freshmen Regularly Admitted to Baccalaureate Programs, Fall 1999." Return to Text
[ ] 106AAUW, "Gaining a Foothold: Women's Transitions Through Work and College," 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 107 Interview with Dr. Louise Mirrer and Jay Hershenson, August 12, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 108 "College Now" Program Summary, CUNY, June 30, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 109 Schmidt Report, p. 32-33. Return to Text
[ ] 110 Ibid. at p. 40 (emphasis added.) Return to Text
[ ] 111 Arthur M. Hauptman, "Financing Remediation at CUNY on Performance Basis: A Proposal," May, 1999, p. 3. Return to Text
[ ] 112 Resolution of the CUNY Board of Trustees, September 27, 1999, emphasis added. Return to Text
[ ] 113 Admissions Flow Chart (Exhibit 1) and remarks of Chancellor Goldstein at the September 27, 1999, meeting of the Board of Trustees. Chancellor Goldstein stressed that the admissions decisions should not be based on any single criterion. Return to Text
[ ] 114 Schmidt Report p.26. See also, Stephen P. Klein and Maria Orlando, supplementary report, "CUNY's Testing Program: Characteristics, Results, and Implications for Policy and Research" RAND, Mayor's Advisory Task Force, May, 1999, (pp. 3-4). Return to Text
[ ] 115 In the Matter of Perez, Index No. 118434/99, New York State Supreme Court, September 22, 1999, (Justice Michael D. Stallman). Return to Text
[ ] 116 See Tables 1-6 and Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillip, Editors, The Black-White Test Score Gap, The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, 1998. Return to Text
[ ] 117 See e.g., National Association of College Admissions Counselors ("NACAC") Statement of Principles of Good Practices, (Revised Oct., 1998) Section III. A. 1. (test scores are to be used "discretely and for the purposes that they are appropriate and validated.") Return to Text
[ ] 118 "Frequently Asked Questions About ETS," The Educational Testing Service, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 119 Standard 8.12. Return to Text
[ ] 120 Ibid. Return to Text
[ ] 121 Memo from James A. Kadamus, "Guidance on the 1998-99 New State Assessment System," April, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 122 CUNY Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, "Mean Total SAT scores of Regularly Admitted Students and Regular First-time Freshman Enrollees Fall 1997, Fall 1998" and "Percentage of CUNY Applicants, Admitted Students, and First-time Freshman Enrollees With Valid SAY Scores: Fall 1997, Fall 1998." Return to Text
[ ] 123 National Center for Educational Statistics, The Condition of Education 1998, p.200. Return to Text
[ ] 124 The Schmidt Report (p.37) proposes a composite score of 1200 for admission to "flagship" schools it recommends establishing. Return to Text
[ ] 125 SUNY System Administration, Office of Academic Planning, Policy and Evaluation, "Mean Composite SAT Scores of First-Time Full-Time Students State-Operated Institutions, Fall 1998" and "SUNY Admissions Information Summary." Return to Text
[ ] 126There may be some financial benefit to the community colleges, but it would be a the cost of becoming "remediation mills" and would likely distract from their other missions. Return to Text
[ ] 127 It is noteworthy that even Baruch College, which eschewed all formal remedial classes prior to the Trustees' initiative, has accomplished this transition (and would, according to Interim President Lois Cronholm, prefer to continue) by enrolling students who meet their relatively stringent admissions criteria, but who nonetheless fail one or more of the placements tests, by providing them access to the tutoring center for help with their college-level coursework. Return to Text
[ ] 128 Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Trustees, June 28, 1999. Return to Text
[ ] 129 Education Law ? 6201.3. Return to Text
[ ] 130 Guardians Association v. Civil Service Commission, 463 U.S. 582 (1983), Alexander v. Choate, 469 U.S. 287 (1985); See also, Elston v. Talladega County Bd. of Educ., 997 F.2d 1394 (11th Cir. 1993); Sharif v. New York State Education Department, 709 F.Supp 345 (S.D.N.Y. 1989); Nondiscrimination in High Stakes Testing: A Resource Guide, Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 7/99 DRAFT ("OCR Draft Resource Guide"). Return to Text
[ ] 131 Elston v. Talladega County Bd. of Educ., 997 F.2d 1394 (11th Cir. 1993). Return to Text
[ ] 132 Id. Return to Text
[ ] 133 Ibid. See also Memorandum from the Attorney General for the Heads of Departments and Agencies that Provide Federal Financial Assistance, "Use of Disparate Impact Standard in Administrative Regulations Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act," July 14, 1994, attached hereto as Exhibit 16. Return to Text
[ ] 134 OCR Draft Resource Guide, p. 3, n.7. Return to Text
[ ] 135Jonathan Karl, "The Great Campus Celebrity Contest," The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 1999, p. W13. Return to Text
[ ] 136Ibid. Return to Text
[ ] 137 Schmidt Report, p. 87 (emphasis added.) 108
Members of the Commission of the Future of CUNY
Stanley M. Grossman, Chair of the Commission and senior partner of Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross, LLP; graduate of Baruch College, CUNY.
Alice Chandler, Ph.D., President Emerita of SUNY at New Paltz; former acting
President of City College.
Claire M. Fagin, Ph.D., former Interim President and Dean Emerita of the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania; former faculty member, Lehman College, CUNY, and New York University.
Arthur Levine, Ph.D., President, Teachers' College, Columbia University.
Lance Liebman, Director, American Law Institute; former Dean, Columbia University School of Law.
Stanley Mark, Program Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Alton Marshall, former President of Rockefeller Center, Inc; former CEO/Chairman of Lincoln Savings Bank; former fellow of Nelson A, Rockefeller Institute of Government.
Jay Mazur, President, UNITE.
Margie McHugh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition.
Robert Mundheim, Of Counsel, Shearman & Sterling, former Dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Law, former General Counsel, United States Department of Treasury.David Z. Robinson, Ph.D., former Vice President and currently Senior Advisor at the Carnegie Corporation, former Trustee of CUNY.
Margarita Rosa, Esq., Executive Director, Grand Street Settlement House, former Commissioner, State Division of Human Rights.
Jack Rudin, Rudin Management.
O. Peter Sherwood, former New York City Corporation Counsel; former Solicitor General of the State of New York; former Visiting Professor, CUNY Law School; graduate of Brooklyn College, CUNY.
The Staff of the Commission:
Special Counsel: Isabelle Katz Pinzler, former Acting (and Deputy) Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, former Director, ACLU Women's Rights Project.
Research Associate: Thurston A. Domina, formerly researcher at University Business.
The work of the Commission on the Future of CUNY was made possible by a grant from the New York Community Trust.
_____, "The Truth About Remedial Work." The Chronicle of Higher Education. October 4, 1996, p. A56.
_____, Answers in the Tool Box: Academic Intensity, Attendance Patterns, and Bachelor's Degree Attainment, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C., 1999.
American Association of University Women, "Gaining a Foothold: Women's Transitions Through Work and College," 1999.
"Approved Queens College Freshman Admissions Criteria" Queens College Office of Undergraduate Admissions, December 15, 1998.
Arenson, Karen W., "Advocates of Remedial Work Barrage the Trustees at CUNY," New York Times, April 21, 1998.
_____, "As CUNY Chief Leaves, Trustees Talk of Raising Standards," New York Times, July 20, 1997.
_____, "College Board Scores Vary Little From Previous Year's," New York Times, September 1, 1999.
_____, "Critics Fear Role of Politics in CUNY Plan," New York Times, May 8, 1998.
_____, "CUNY Board Fails to Approve Bid to Allow Remedial Cuts," New York Times, March 24, 1998.
_____, "CUNY May Let Politicians Plan Remediation," New York Times, April 23, 1998.
_____, "CUNY Proposes Stricter Rules On Students in Remedial Classes," New York Times, March 1, 1998.
_____, "CUNY Study Could Be Tool or Weapon, Officials Say," New York Times, June 7, 1999.
_____, "CUNY To Tighten Admissions Policy at 4-Year Schools," New York Times, May 27, 1998.
_____, "How Open a Door?; Ending Remedial Classes at CUNY Could Drastically Change Its Mission," New York Times, March 25, 1998.
_____, "The Guliani Budget: The University; Some CUNY Officials Are Cautious About Mayor's Proposal, but Others See Disaster," New York Times, January 30, 1998.
_____, "New CUNY Chief Traces Woes to the Public Schools," New York Times, June 2, 1999.
_____, "Regents Assert Right to Approve CUNY's Plan for Remedial Work," New York Times, August 13, 1998.
_____, "Remedial Students Play an Integral Part at CUNY," New York Times, February 8, 1998.
_____, "Remedial Limits for CUNY Are Attacked," New York Times, March 17, 1998.
_____, "Trustees Anoint CUNY Chief With a Pledge Not to Meddle," New York Times, July 23, 1999.
_____, "With CUNY Study, Ex-Yale Chief Seeks New View of Public Colleges," New York Times, August 30, 1998.
_____, "With New Admissions Policy, CUNY Steps Into the Unknown," New York Times, May 28, 1998.
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Bridging the Gap Between State Government and Public Higher Education, Washington, D.C., 1998.
Astin, Alexander W., What Matters in College: Four Critical Years Revisited, Jossey-Bass, Inc., San Francisco, 1993.
Badillo, Herman, "Why CUNY Needs Standardized Tests," New York Post, September 19, 1999.
Berger, Joseph, "CUNY Phasing in Higher Standards," New York Times, May 3, 1992.
_____, "Not the Same CUNY," New York Times, June 27, 1995.
Blum, Edward and Marc Levin, "Washington's War on Standardized Tests," Wall Street Journal, May 26, 1999.
Breneman, David W., "Remediation in Higher Education: Its Extent and Cost," in, Brookings Papers on Education Policy, 1998, Diane Ravitch, ed., Brookings Institution Press, 1998.
Breneman, David W. and William N. Haarlow, "Establishing the Real Value of Remedial Education," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 9, 1999.
_____, "Remedial Education: Costs and Consequences," in Remediation in Higher Education: A Symposium, Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.
Caputo, David A., "Challenges and Opportunities as the Millennium Approaches" The Fourth State of the College Address, February 10, 1999.
Carmody, Deirdre, "Pre-Freshman Remedial Programs Raise Chances for Academic Success," New York Times, August 31, 1988.
Center for the Study of Community Colleges, "1997 Transfer Assembly Results," October 1997.
Chait, Richard P., Thomas P. Holland, and Barbara E. Taylor, Improving Performance of Governing Boards, American Council on Education, Series on Higher Education, Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ, 1996.
Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education, Joint Committee on Testing Practices, 1988.
Cohen, Arthur M., and Florence B. Brawer, The American Community College, (3rd Edition), Jossey-Bass, Inc, San Francisco, 1996.
Cohen, Arthur M. "Projecting the Future of Community Colleges," ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges. (www.gse.ucla.edu/ERIC/digests/DIG9601.HTML)
Cole, Nancy S., "Merit and Opportunity: Testing and Higher Education at the Vortex," presented at the conference, New Directions in Assessment for Higher Education: Fairness, Access, Multiculturalism, and Equity, March 6-7, 1997.
The College Board, "Common Sense About SAT Score Differences and Test Validity," Research Notes, June 1997.
Cronholm, Lois S., Au Courant. No. 6, May-June 1999.
_____, "Baruch College State of the College" October 1998.
_____, "Remediation and Reality," Remarks to the City Club of New York, April 9, 1999.
_____, "Why One College Jettisoned All Its Remedial Courses," The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 24, 1999.
Daley, Suzanne, "Colleges All Over the Country Turning to Remedial English," New York Times, January 8, 1984.
Day, Philip R. and Robert H. McCabe, Remedial Education: A Social and Economic Imperative, American Association of Community Colleges, October 1997.
Empire Foundation for Policy Research and American Council of Trustees and Alumni, A Failure to Set High Standards: CUNY's General-Education Requirements. March 1998.
Florida Department of Education, Readiness for Postsecondary Education, 1997-98. April, 1999.
"Frequently Asked Questions About ETS," (www.ets.org/faq.html)
Friends of CUNY, Toward a Greater City University, August 1999.
Fullinwider, Robert K. "Open Admissions and Remedial Education at CUNY" Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy.
Gade, Marian L., Four Campus Systems: Some Policies and Practices That Work, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, D.C., 1993.
Goldstein, Matthew, "How I plan to reform CUNY," New York Daily News, August 13, 1999.
Gorelick, Sherry, City College and the Jewish Poor, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 1981.
Gose, Ben, "Tutoring Companies Take Over Remedial Teaching at Some Colleges," Chronicle of Higher Education, September 19, 1997.
Grier Partnership, "Enrollment Projections for High Schools By Borough – New York Public Schools," Prepared for the New York City Board of Education.
Gross, Barry R., "How to Bail Out CUNY," New York Times, April 22, 1995.
Hevesi, Dennis, "CUNY Seeks to Bar Remedial Courses Beyond First Year," New York Times, June 14, 1995.
Hines, Edward, "Appropriations of State Tax Funds for Operating Expenses of Higher Education in the 50 States for Fiscal Years 1988-89, 1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99, with Percentages of Change over the Most Recent One, Two, and Ten Years," Grapevine: A National Database of Tax Support for Higher Education.
"How the States Rank in Appropriations for Higher Education," Chronicle of Higher Education, November 27, 1998.
Hunter College, "One Hundred Twenty-Seven Years of Teaching, Research and Service" Decennial Report to the Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, July 1997.
_____, "1997-1998 Annual Report."
Ignash, Jan M., ed., "Implementing Effective Policies for Remedial and Developmental Education," New Directions for Community Colleges, Number 100, Winter 1997.
Jackson, Edison O., The City University of New York: Blueprint for the 21st Century, December 15, 1997.
Jencks, Christopher, and Meredith Phillips, eds., The Black-White Test Score Gap, Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1998.
Jones, Charisse, "CUNY Adopts Stricter Policy on Admissions," New York Times, June 27, 1995.
Kadamus, James A., "Guidaince on the 1998-99 New State Assessment System," New York State Department of Education April 1999.
Karl, Jonathan, "The Great Campus Celebrity Contest," The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 1999.
Kleinfield, N. R. and Samuel Weiss, "CUNY's Crossroads – A special report; Leader Presses Changes at CUNY, But Some See Threat to Its Mission," New York Times, July 7, 1992.
Lavin, David E., "Comments on: Amendment to the Master Plan for the City University of New York," Submitted to the New York State Board of Regents, July 20, 1999.
Lavin, David E. and David Hyllegard, Changing the Odds: Open Admissions and the Life Changes of the Disadvantaged, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1996.
Lavin, David E. and Elliot Weininger, New Admissions Policy & Changing Access to CUNY's Senior and Community Colleges: What are the Stakes?, Prepared for Higher Education Committee New York City Council, May 1999.
_____, The 1999 Trustee Resolution on Access to the City University of New York: Its Impact on Enrollment to Senior Colleges, April 1999.
_____, Proposed New Admissions Criteria at the City University of New York: Ethnic and Enrollment Consequences, March 1998.
Lesnick, Henry. "Why the CUNY Immersion Program Fails: An Assessment Based on the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP), 1996-1997," Final Report February 2, 1998.
London, Howard B. The Culture of a Community College, Praeger Publishers, New York, 1978.
MacDonald, Heather, "Downward Mobility: The Failure of Open Admissions at City University," City Journal, Summer 1994.
MacTaggart, Terrence and Associates, with Cynthia L. Crist, eds. Restructuring Higher Education: What Works in Reorganizing Governing Systems, Jossey-Bass, Inc., San Francisco, 1996.
Maeroff, Gene I., "City U. Theme: ‘Access and Quality,'" New York Times, November 12, 1983.
_____, "CUNY Leads in Remedial Programs," New York Times, March 31, 1981.
_____, New York State's Higher Education Policy Vacuum, Office of the State Comptroller, September 1998.
McCormack, Tim, et al. ""Writing Assessment at the City University of New York: A Position Statement," The Writing Assessment Action Committee of the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York, April 17, 1999.
Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Framework for Outcomes Assessment, 1996.
_____, Outcomes Assessment in the Middle States Region: A Report on the 1995 Outcomes Assessment Survey, July 1996.
_____, Policy Statement: Functions of Boards of Trustees in Higher Education.
_____, Policy Statement: Transfer and Articulation.
Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Evaluation Team Reports on:
New York State Board of Regents, Public Testimony Presented to the Board, September 8-9, 1999.
New York State Board of Regents Consultant Team, New York State Education Department Review of CUNY's Proposed Master Plan Amendment, September 1999.
New York State Education Department, "Proposal for Revising Graduation Requirements," adopted by the New York State Board of Regents, November 14, 1997. (www.nysed.gov/rscs/gradreq.html)
_____, "Guidance on the 1998-99 New State Assessment System," Memorandum to All Teachers and Administrators in Public and Nonpublic Schools, April 1999.
New York State Education Law.
"NRC Criticizes High-Stakes Testing," Fair Test Examiner, The National Center for Fair & Open Testing, Fall 1998
Otheguy, Ricardo, The Condition of Latinos in the City University of New York, A report to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and to the Puerto Rican Council on Higher Education, June 1990.
Parnell, Dale, The Neglected Minority, Community College Press, Washington D.C., 1985.
Perez-Pena, Richard, "Aides Say Pataki Is Unhappy With CUNY Leader He Chose," New York Times, March 30, 1998.
Rohter, Larry, "City U. Acts to Correct Quickly ‘Learning Deficits' of Freshmen," New York Times, August 19, 1986.
Rooney, Charles, Test Scores Do Not Equal Merit: Enhancing Equity and Excellence in College Admissions by Deemphasizing SAT and ACT Results, September 1998.
Russell, Alene Bycer, Statewide College Admissions, Student Preparation, and Remediation Policies and Programs, State Higher Education Executive Officers, January 1998.
Sharav, Itzhak, "The Elusive CUNY Diploma," New York Times, June 13, 1999.
"Standardized tests under fire," CNN Interactive, June 15, 1999. (www.cnn.com/9906/15/standardized.tests/)
"Statement of Principles of Good Practice for Members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling," revised October 1998. (www.nacac.com/spgp.html)
SUNY System Administration, Academic Planning, Policy and Evaluation, "Mean Composite SAT Scores of First-Time Full-Time Students State-Operated Institutions, Fall 1998" October 1999.
Sweeney, Jane P., Access to Education: Admission and Remediation at the City University of New York, July 9, 1999.
Time and the Princeton Review, The Best College for You: College Guide 2000, 1999.
Tinto, Vincent and Stacy Riemer, Remedial Education in Higher Education. (www.soeweb.syr.edu/hed/tinto/ncpi.htm)
Tobolowsky, Barbara, "Improving Transfer and Articulation Policies," ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges. (www.gse.ucla.edu/ERIC/digests/dig9804.html)
Traub, James, City on A Hill: Testing the American Dream at City College, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass, 1994.
U.S. Attorney General's Office, Memorandum from the Attorney General for the Heads of Departments and Agencies that Provide Federal Financial Assistance, "Use of Disparate Impact Standard in Administrative Regulations Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act," July 14, 1994.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Nondescrimination in High-Stakes Testing: A Resource Guide, April 1999.
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education, NCES 98-013, 1998.
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Remedial Education at Higher Education Institutions in Fall 1995, NCES 97-584, 1996.
U.S. News and World Report, America's Best Colleges: The Year 2000 Edition, 1999.
Weidenthal, Maurice D., Who Cares About the Inner City? The Community College Response to Urban America, Association of Community and Junior Colleges, National Center for Higher Education, Washington, D.C. 1989.
Weiss, Samuel, "Measuring the Success of SEEK 20 Years Later," New York Times, December 28, 1986.
Yamasaki, Erika, "Effective Policies for Remedial Education," ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges. (www.gseis.ucla.edu/ERIC/digests/dig9806.html)
Documents prepared by the CUNY System Administration:
CUNY, Budget Requests, annually, 1988-89 - 2000-01.
_____, Immigration/Migration and the CUNY Student of the Future, Winter 1995.
_____, Investing in New York's Future: The CUNY Portfolio, 1998.
_____, The City University of New York: 1992 Master Plan, September 30, 1992.
_____, 1994 Update of the City University of New York: 1992 Master Plan, October 1994.
_____, "Proposed Admissions Process: CUNY's Baccalaureate Programs."
_____, Progress Report on Academic Program and Other Planning Activities. December 1, 1995.
_____, "University-Wide Guidelines for Formal, Periodic Academic Program Review," April 22, 1994.
CUNY Albany Office, "Highlights of the Higher Education Budget." (www.cuny.edu/events/government/albany/news/budupd899.html)
CUNY Board of Trustees, Amendment to the Master Plan and Appendices, June 28, 1999.
_____, Appendix to the Calendar, June 28, 1999.
_____, Bylaws (Revised September 30, 1998.)
_____, Individual College Plans for Implementation of January 25, 1999 Resolution.
_____, Manual of General Policy.
_____, Minutes of Proceedings, January 25, 1999.
CUNY Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Academic Program Planning, A Report to the Chancellor ("The Goldstein Report"), December 2, 1992.
CUNY Chancellor's Office, "The City University of New York Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP)," February 27, 1998.
CUNY Colleges, Governance Plans.
CUNY Office of Academic Affairs, "The College Preparatory Initiative: Competitive Awards Program, Spring 1996," August 1, 1996.
_____, The College Preparatory Initiative: Mid-Point Review, Fall 1997.
_____, The CUNY Writing Assessment Test Audit Results 1988-1997, March 1998.
_____, The CUNY Writing Skills Assessment Test: Student Essays Evaluated and Annotated By the CUNY Task Force on Writing, Second Edition.
_____, Revision of the Guidelines for the Structure and Operation of the SEEK Program of the City University of New York, June 1994.
CUNY Office of Admission Services. Review of Admissions for Fall 1999 Semester – Phase 11, July 14, 1999.
CUNY Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, "Actual and Projected Enrollment of Degree Undergraduate Students in Summer Remediation at the Senior Colleges: Summer 1998 to Summer 2003," June 25, 1999.
_____, Basic Skills and ESL at the City University of New York: An Overview, February 1998.
_____, CUNY Student Data Book: Fall 1998 (Draft).
_____, "CUNY WAT, RAT, and MAT by SAT Scores (Supplied by ETS) Fall 1997 Current High School Graduates"
_____, "Fall 1997 ESL and Basic Skills Courses by College," July 7, 1998.
_____, "Mean Total SAT Scores of Regularly Admitted Students and Regular First-time Freshman Enrollees: Fall 1997, Fall 1998."
_____, "Mean Total SAT Scores of Students Admitted via Special Programs and Special Programs First-time Freshman Enrollees: Fall 1997, Fall 1998."
_____, "Percentage of CUNY Applicants, Admitted Students, and First-time Freshman Enrollees With Valid SAT Scores: Fall 1997, Fall 1998."
_____, "Performance of First-time Freshmen on the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests: First-time Freshmen Regularly Admitted to Baccalaureate Programs, Fall 1999." October 6, 1999.
_____, "Performance on the CUNY Skills Assessment Tests: Percent Passing Reading, Writing & Math Skills Tests," January 14, 1999.
_____,, "Phase-In Schedule, Proposed Resolution: Percentage Decline from 1997-98 Base Enrollment of New Bachelor's Students: Regular and SEEK," May 19, 1998.
_____, "Projected Outcomes of First-time Freshmen Admitted to CUNY Senior Colleges in Fall of First Year Under the January 25 Policy on Remediation," July 4, 1999.
_____, "Trends in Skills Assessment Test Pass Rates, Regular First-time Freshmen Entering Baccalaureate Programs: Fall 1995 to Fall 1998," October 6, 1999.
_____, "Projected Outcomes of First-time Freshmen Admitted to CUNY Senior Colleges in Fall of First Year Under the January 25 Policy on Remediation (Revised Estimate)," September 1, 1999.
_____, "Summer 1998 Skills Immersion Participants by Fall 1998 Enrollment Status of Bachelor's Degree Students," June 16, 1999.
_____, "Trends in Headcount in Basic Skills and ESL Course Work Summer 1996 Through Summer 1998," June 25, 1999.
CUNY Office of University Relations, "CUNY Senior Colleges Raise Admissions Requirements for Fall 1998." (www.osc.cuny.edu/events/press/feb26a_98.html)
_____, "College Now," June 30, 1999.
_____, "Record-Breaking Number of Students Sign Up This Year For CUNY's Summer Skills Immersion Program."
CUNY University Faculty Senate, CUNY: An Institution Affirmed, Response to the Report of the Mayor's Task Force, ‘CUNY: An Institution Adrift', July 1999.
_____, "Recommendations of the Mayor's Task Force on CUNY – The Promised Objectivity: Is It There?," Spring 1999 Conference, June 8, 1999. (www.soc.qc.edu/ufs/sprcon99.htm)
_____, "University Summer Immersion Program: Meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on Remediation, Graduation Rates and Performance," March 25, 1998
Clio, Miriam, Analysis of Remedial Education Outsourcing Alternatives, June 1999.
Clio, Miriam and Bruce S. Cooper, Bridging the Gap Between School and College: A Report on Remediation in New York City Education, June 1999.
Gill, Brian P., The Governance of the City University of New York: A System at Odds with Itself, RAND, May 1999.
Hauptman, Arthur M., Financing Remediation at CUNY on a Performance Basis: A Proposal, May 1999.
Kim, Mary, CUNY Statistical Profile, 1980-1998 Vol. I, RAND, April 1999.
Klein, Stephen P. and Maria Orlando, CUNY's Testing Program: Characteristics, Results, and Implications for Policy Research, RAND, May 1999.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, Report I: Financial Analysis of Remedial Education at The City University of New York, February 1999.
_____, Report II: Planning and Budgeting at the City University of New York, February, 1999.
_____, Report III: Review of the City University of New York's Revenues and Expenditures, February, 1999.
Renfro, Sally and Allison Armour-Garb, Beyond Graduation Rates: Assessing the Outcomes of CUNY's Open Admissions and Remedial Education Policies, June 1999.
_____, Open Admissions and Remedial Education at the City University of New York, June 1999.
Schmidt, Benno C. et al., The City University of New York: An Institution Adrift. June 7, 1999.
Alexander v. Choate, 469 U.S. 287 (1985).
Crain v. Reynolds, 687 N.Y.S. 2d. 75 (N.Y.App.Div. 1st Dep't. 1999).
Elston v. Talladega County Bd. of Educ., 997 F.2d 1394 (11th Cir. 1993).
Gomes v. Board of Trustees of CUNY, Index No. 121848/98 IAS, New York State Supreme Court, County of New York, (Wilk, J.) .
Guardians Association v. Civil Service Commission, 463 U.S. 582 (1983)
In the Matter of Perez, Index No. 118434/99, New York State Supreme Court, September 22, 1999, (Justice Michael D. Stallman).
Sharif v. New York State Education Department, 709 F.Supp 345 (SDNY, 1989).
ACT Online, www.act.org.
American Association of Community Colleges, www.aacc.org.
College Board Online, www.collegeboard.org.
League for Innovation in the Community College, www.league.org.
State Higher Education Executive Officers, www.sheeo.org.
Interviews and meetings: