Are College Entrants Overdiagnosed as Underprepared? More A students are being placed in remedial college classes, notes researcher Judith Scott-Clayton on the New York Times‘ Economix blog. “For students with high school grade-point averages between 3.5 and 4.0, remediation rates have more than doubled.” It’s not grade inflation, she writes, because “the percentage of students with G.P.A.’s in this range has not changed.” She thinks it’s the increasing use of not-very-accurate placement tests.
Most students who enter remedial classes never make it out, she writes.
My own research, using data from a large urban community college system with particularly high remediation rates, estimates that one in four students assigned to math remediation could have passed a college-level math course with a grade of B or better and one in three students assigned to English remediation could have passed freshman composition with a B or better.
“Exempting students with strong high school backgrounds from placement testing could lower remediation rates by 8 to 12 percentage points, without affecting pass rates in college-level courses,” Scott-Clayton writes.