Scoring “college ready” on a Common Core-aligned test will mean something for students in some states, writes Lindsay Tepe on EdCentral.
Nearly 200 colleges and universities in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington will use the Smarter Balanced test’s “college ready” designation to place first-year students in college-level courses. The Core-aligned exam will replace placement tests such as Accuplacer or COMPASS.
Several colleges, including Illinois’ community college system, will use PARCC scores to decide who is ready for college-level courses.
At community colleges and non-flagship universities, placement tests steer many students to non-credit, remedial coursework. Few who start at the remedial level go on to complete a degree. Research shows some would do just as well (or no worse) in college-level courses, writes Tepe.
Delaware, where more than half of high school graduates end up in remedial courses and fail them at an alarming rate, this new route to college-level courses could make a big difference for students. Those who score a 3 or higher on Smarter Balanced who are planning to attend the University of Delaware or Delaware State University (remediation rates of 18 and 81 percent, respectively) will proceed directly into classes that will contribute toward their chosen degrees.
How many students who did poorly on the placement test would have done well on SBAC or PARCC? I’m guessing not many. (Delaware taxpayers fund a state university where four out of five students are unprepared?)
By the way, the new euphemism for remedial courses is “pre-college” courses.