The recently released report by Maine’s University and Community College System on the number of Maine freshmen who were required last fall to take remedial courses in math, English, or both, should have put terror into the hearts, minds and wallets of all Mainers.

“Basic skills continue to be a challenge for many students entering Maine’s public colleges and universities, in some cases hampering their prospects for success.” If those aspiring to advance themselves with a college education have been provided an education so deficient that remedial classes are required, what does that say for the state of those seeking work?

The cost to taxpayers for a year of public school education in Maine is comparable to a year’s college tuition, yet 52 percent of college freshmen required remedial work? That profound demonstration of failure by the schools to fulfill their mission of preparing the citizenry for college and work, stealing not only taxpayers’ money but also the time and futures of those entrusted to their care cannot be tolerated.

The excuse making and blaming by educators and the education system must end. There is no excuse for these “results.”

If a manufacturer shipped out product with a 52 percent “defect” rate, they would be forced out of business as customers refused to buy.

Maine’s taxpayers and students deserve better than to have to accept a 52 percent defect rate of graduates’ educations with all the money and time that has been invested.

Candice Casey, Rumford

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