Low Bar, High Failure

Community colleges set a low bar for students during their first year of enrollment, with lax academic standards in literacy and mathematics, according to a new study from the National Center on Education and the Economy. And many students fail to meet even those minimal expectations.

The study released today uncovered “disturbingly low standards among community college instructors,” said Marc S. Tucker, president of the center, a nonprofit group that focuses on academic assessment and standards across systems of education. “It’s clear that we’re cheating our students.”

Inadequate standards hurt students’ chances of succeeding in the job market, according to the report. But there are no simple fixes for this problem, the study said. That’s because community colleges likely are reacting to the inadequate academic preparation of incoming students, a majority of whom require remedial coursework in college.

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