Report of the Commission on the Future of CUNY
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.
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]."