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Five myths of remedial ed

Five Myths of Remedial Ed “hinder our pursuit of college success,” argue Jane V. Wellman of the Delta Project on Postsecondary Costs, Productivity and Accountability and Bruce Vandal, who directs Getting Past Go for the Education Commission of the States in Inside Higher Ed.

According to Wellman and Vandal, the myths are: remedial education is K-12′s problem, it’s a short-term problem, colleges know how to determine readiness, remedial ed is bankrupting the system and “maybe some students just aren’t college material.”

Remedial education is the 800-pound gorilla that stands squarely in the path of our national objective to increase the number of adults with a college degree. If we dispel these myths, the solutions become clear: get higher education to articulate what it means to be college-ready, implement those college-ready standards in high school, fund remedial education programs in ways that reward student success, and customize coursework to meet students’ needs.

Only 25 percent of community college students who start in remedial classes complete a credential, they estimate.

W. Norton Grubb analyzes instruction in remedial classes in California community colleges in a new Policy Analysis for California Education study. Grubb estimates that 60 percent of community college students — perhaps 80 percent in California — start in remedial classes.