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Report: Standardize Assessment of College Learning

July 28, 2016 Comments (0) Educational institutions

ERN Report: Remedial Courses Expensive, Delay Graduation


(Photo: Jacob Edward, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Jacob Edward, Creative Commons)

According to some study released by?the?think-tank Education Reform Now, one in four students enrolls in remedial classes in their first year of college, costing their own families nearly $1.5 billion collectively.

Colleges routinely?require students with weak academic records to take courses to help them catch up with their peers. These remedial classes, however, rarely count toward a diploma. Thus, students mustn\’t only pay for their extra help, but they end up paying more in tuition because that?help delayed them from graduating promptly. These remedial courses wind up exacerbating the price of college.

The report dispels the notion that only low-income students take remedial courses. 45% of students enrolled in such classes come from middle and upper-income families. Furthermore, up to 50 % of all students taking remedial classes attend public and private four-year colleges.

As reported by Danielle Douglas-Gabriel from the Washington Post, students in remedial classes take almost?a full year more than their peers to complete a bachelor\’s degree.?And Anya Kamenetz of NPR writes that, overall, students are borrowing an extra $380 million a year to take high school level courses in their first year of college. Interestingly, students at expensive, private four-year colleges take more remedial classes than their lower-income peers. This fact shows that the most elite institutions are enrolling low-achieving, high-income students.

\”People are underestimating the breadth and depth of senior high school underperformance. They think it\’s not their kids,\” says Michael Dannenberg of Education Reform Now. \”For many nonprofit private colleges, the admissions and educational funding process is actually about enrollment management and maximizing revenue.\”

Nonetheless, solutions are now being pursued. A nonprofit called Complete College America has called on universities to provide remediation alongside college-level courses to permit students to a minimum of stay on track to graduate within four years. Similarly, Connecticut passed legislation requiring state colleges to embed remedial education into standard, accredited courses.

The publicly-scorned Common Core standards attempted to function as a bulwark against underperforming high schools; it tried to ensure that school districts nationwide adopted an extensive curriculum that will prepare students for college. Mark Keierleber from the 74?Million notes that parents harbor a disconnect between perceptions of senior high school quality and the reality of senior high school students\’ college preparedness.?The \”opt-out\” movement, in which parents reserve the authority to allow their kids to opt from standardized tests, is reflective of such a disconnect.

\”We\’ve seen again and again that parents, generally, think their very own schools are doing well but think overall schools nationally require reform,\” says Mary Nguyen Barry, a co-author of Education Reform Now\’s report. \”We just worry when that complacency builds or expands, it\’s both going to hurt the pocketbooks of the upper middle-class and the wealthy, and in addition it impedes greater efforts to enhance student preparation.\”

In aggregate, students are 75% not as likely to complete college should they have to take a remedial course. Consequently, remedial courses not only make a college degree more expensive, but also far less attainable.

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