High schools may pay for college remediation

When high school graduates need remedial classes in college, who pays? Mississippi and Maine may hold school districts responsible for the costs of teaching basic skills in community colleges.

As many as 70 percent of entering community college students nationwide are placed in remedial courses.

About Joanne


  1. Stacy in NJ says:


  2. Finally, we may be seeing the end of both the “HS-diploma-equals-college-readiness” and the “college-for-all” fantasies. Neither is achievable at any meaningful level, because they are both based on the fantasy that all students have both the ability and the motivation for real college-level work. I’d like to see at least 3 levels of HS diplomas; general, vo-tech, college-prep and honors (meaning both honors/AP coursework and high GPA). General should require the level of literacy, numeracy and general knowledge that general HS diplomas used to indicate when I graduated; ready for more-than-unskilled labor. Spec ed kids not capable of that level should have spec ed certificates. Four-year colleges should lose all federal/state aid if they admit kids needing remediation or offer remedial classes. Taxpayers have been forced to pay twice for work that should have been mastered in k-12; if it hasn’t, providing remediation is wholly a k-12 problem – with no additional funding. Unfortunately, the outbreak of common sense will probably founder, like so many other common-sense ideas, on the shoals of race and ethnicity.

  3. Who said “high school graduate” means “college ready”?

    If those states do decide to hold the schools accountable, the schools will respond by denying advanced courses to anyone incapable of taking them. Black and Hispanic high school graduation rates and college entrance rates will plummet.

    • So you see black and Hispanic kids who are unprepared for college, and sure to flunk out, being accepted into college as a good thing?

  4. Stupid. Stupid. The colleges accepted these students knowing their weaknesses — How about if the admissions officers actually did their jobs?

    Why should the school districts have to suffer through four years of teenager antipathy and stated lack of desire and motivation, and then be somehow responsible for the costs two, three, ten years down the line when the kid finally grows up?

    Take the other situation — those students who should not be thinking about college (shock). Despite anyone’s fantasies of equality, there are large numbers of students who should go into the trades instead of attempting a college degree … they are far more successful and far happier.

    When you allow the high schools to pick and choose students and select for college traits and habits, then maybe you can hold them accountable for the students’ abilities and results.

    Yeah, Mom of 4. There are differences between the students … there should be differences in their diplomas and differences in their futures.

    • Community colleges have open admissions. They don’t have admissions officers picking the best candidates. They offer job training as well as degrees, though many students who’d have a shot at a vocational certificate think their only option is to go for a bachelor’s degree.

  5. Crimson Wife says:

    Is there a time limit on financially penalizing the high schools? Many CC students are a decade or more out of from H.S. graduation. I got A’s in calculus in ’95, but if I were given a math placement test today, I’d probably get placed in algebra 2. That is no reflection upon the quality of education at my high school but rather the fact that I haven’t used anything beyond very basic algebra in nearly two decades.

    • Yeah, because that’s exactly the problem at hand. everyone’s worried about how people do in college 15 years after leaving high school.

      Way to make it all about you.

      • Crimson Wife says:

        The average age of a CC student is 28, and only 39% are younger than 21. 15% are 40 or older. So yeah, there really ARE a lot of CC students enrolling long after their H.S. graduation. Source is here.

  6. lightly seasoned says:

    It’s still all paid for by taxes. It’s not like the CCs are self-sustaining little profit centers. This is just shifting the pot around. I’m looking forward to the study that shows the unprepared students tend to drop out at some point in the first semester while the CCs scramble to figure out how to retain them.

    • Colleges used to WANT to weed out unprepared and/or lazy students as soon as possible; hence the freshman “weeder courses”. At my flagship state U, that meant freshman lit and comp and the sciences – geology was considered the easiest. The aim was to wash out 1/3 of the class, but the actual washouts varied by major; much higher in STEM, pre-med, med tech and nursing (all lost at least half) and lowest in the ed school, home ec ed and preschool ed.

  7. You want to stop this, give the students placement exams in english and math, if they don’t measure up to taking college level coursework, show them the door with a comment – “We’ll be happy to admit you, when you’re actually ready to take and pass college level coursework”.