Know A Problem To Fix It

Career College Central summary:

  • Remedial education is getting plenty of attention from state lawmakers. Yet there is little consistency in how states track students’ college preparedness and subsequent progress through remedial coursework.
  • That’s the central finding of a new report from the Education Commission of the States. The education policy think tank also released a companion report today that takes a first crack at creating a national “framework” for how to measure and report on remediation.
  • Thomas Bailey, director of the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College, said it’s clear that colleges must improve remedial education success rates. And Bailey said perhaps more consistent reporting can help spur those efforts.
  • “If better measures will enhance our efforts to make those improvements and encourage colleges and high schools to work together to strengthen student skills and make sure that they are well established in college, then they make sense,” he said.
  • In December of last year the commission brought together education officials, lawmakers and policy experts to discuss remedial reporting practices in the states. They found “chaos,” which is described in the resulting report.
  • Thirty states issue an annual report on remedial education, such as the number of students who place into developmental English or mathematics classes. Others, including Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Vermont, do not appear to report remedial data.
  • Even among states that produce annual reports, there was a dearth of consistent reporting. For example, only 13 states sent information back to K-12 systems about their graduates’ remedial needs. And just 12 tracked remedial students’ progress in college-level courses.

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