California takes up community college reforms

Next week, California’s community colleges will consider 22 proposals to improve graduation and transfer rates, reports the Contra Costa Times. The Student Success Task Force‘s recommendations include:

Design statewide tests to determine each entering student’s competence in math and English. As it stands, each of the state’s 72 college districts is responsible for coming up with its own tests, meaning students who take classes at more than one campus may need to take several exams on the same subject.

Require students to choose a major. Studies have shown that students who choose a major their first year have much higher graduation rates.

Require first-year students to start remedial work immediately. Fewer than half the students who need only a single remedial math course ever complete their community college work.

In addition, community college leaders should work with K-12 educators, who are implementing new Common Core Standards for reading and math, said Erik Skinner, executive vice chancellor for the community college system. “As K-12 updates its standards, higher education needs to be at the table,” he said.

California’s low high-school graduation requirements are a “ticket to remediation,” said Michael Kirst, president of the California State Board of Education and an emeritus education professor at Stanford.


POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON January 6, 2012

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