I don't know. Some student problems are the fault of the teachers, but on the other hand, many students are just lazy and don't work hard enough on courses they consider "too difficult". And the coursework for a programming degree IS quite difficult, when you consider that many colleges, even community colleges, require up through Calculus 3 and Linear Algebra. What's that all about? Why should programmers have to slog through Calculus 3? Anything after Calculus 1 is basically useless in terms of your career, and I'd think it would be far more useful to spend the same amount of time learning several new programming languages and/or operating systems.
Bottom line though, I mostly agree with him - introductory programming courses are a good way to weed out the people who aren't commmited to getting a programming degree. What sort of person fails an introductory programming course? The sort of person who should be majoring in something else. Assuming your textbook is reasonably adequate, you have no excuse for failure.