Early tests give students time to boost skills

Cut down on college remediation by testing students’ college readiness in high school, editorializes the Boston Globe.

It’s dispiriting to open a community college’s course catalog and see page after page of course descriptions on math fundamentals, including fractions and percentages.

. . . about 60 percent of incoming students at the state’s 15 community colleges are required to take one or more remedial courses. These courses eat up about one-third of all tuition and fees paid by students.

One solution is to introduce high-school juniors and seniors to the Accuplacer exams they must take prior to registering for courses on state and community college campuses. Doing so would allow testers to identify students’ weaknesses in core subject areas in time to address them during high school.

JFY Networks, a nonprofit career training program, gave an Accuplacer pretest to 40 students in three Massachusetts high schools, the Globe reports.

Based on the Accuplacer pretest results, these students would have been required to enroll in a total of 75 remedial courses at community colleges. But after instruction, which happened largely online, that number fell to 47 remedial courses.

Because of grade inflation, many high school students don’t know they’re on the remedial track.