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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Remaking remediation

Eighty percent of new community college students in the City University of New York system test into remedial reading, writing and/or math, reports the New York Times. “At the end of one year, only half of all students in remediation have advanced out of those classes.”

CUNY is revamping remediation in hopes of boosting success rates, reports the Times. Future students will take a different placement test with a retest option if they come close to passing. Associate degree programs will offer an alternative to remedial algebra, such as quantitative reasoning or statistics.

Laurel Watt teaches remedial reading at Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota, which is considering eliminating stand-alone remedial courses. Photo: David Joles/Star Tribune

In addition, students will be able to take college-level math at the same time they’re taking remedial math, known as the corequisite model.

Tennessee’s community college and university system has increased pass rates by offering corequisite courses.

Tennessee colleges also are working with high schools to prepare students for college — before they get there, writes Joseph Williams on EdSurge. (What a concept!)

With 38 percent of new students requiring remediation, California State University is designing corequisite courses that let students earn college credit while catching up on basic skills, reports EdSource.

Darren, who teaches high school in California, is dubious about awarding college credits for courses that include high-school-level work.

Minnesota is considering the idea, despite some push back. “You can’t take somebody who reads at junior high reading level, throw them into the deep end of the pool and say, ‘OK, swim,’?” said Laurel Watt, who teaches remedial reading and study skills at Inver Hills Community College.

Giving college credit for high school work is “a consequence of misguided notions of equity and opportunity,”writes Checker Finn. “What it really does is perpetuate the illusion of success in the absence of true achievement.”

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