More Colorado students are entering college unprepared, report says

More Colorado students are entering college unprepared, report says

The number of Colorado students enrolling in college last year unprepared for college-level work increased for the second year in a row, according to a state report published Friday.

The increase was small. Of the high school students who graduated in 2015 and enrolled in college in the 2015-16 year, 36.1 percent had to enroll in remedial courses, up from 35.4 percent the year before, according to the Colorado Department of Higher Education report.

The number of Hispanic students enrolling at two-year colleges who needed remedial classes — also known as developmental education classes — increased. The number of African-American students needing the help decreased at both two-year and four-year schools.

Despite the overall increase in remediation rates, the combined cost to the state and to college students enrolled in developmental education courses dropped to $29.6 million, a $9.7 million savings from last year.

The remedial college courses are designed for students who need extra instruction in the basics. The courses do not provide credits toward a degree.

A new policy that the Colorado Commission of Higher Education was set to approve Friday will suggest students be given the chance to enter college-level courses first, with support, and that remedial classes should be a last resort.

Previous state policy suggested that every student should be tested to determine if they need remedial education.

The policy changes also suggest colleges should use multiple measures to determine a student’s need for remedial education, as opposed to one test score commonly used now. It also adds that students should be notified that they have “a legal right to request to test out of a course,” even if they are flagged by a school as having developmental needs.

According to the policy, “National research indicates too many students are unnecessarily placed into developmental education, thus delaying their graduation, raising their debt, and decreasing their persistence.”

Among the high schools with the highest rates of students needing remedial education this year are Jefferson High School in Greeley; Trinidad High School in Trinidad; and Vista Academy, Manual High School and schools on the West High School campus in Denver.

Read the full report here.

Originally published by Chalkbeat by Yesenia Robles on May 5, 2017. Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.

Photo by Tim Carroll/MSU Denver. Students discuss a math problem in 2014 as part of a Metro State program meant to bring students up to speed without remediation. 

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About the Author

Yesenia Robles, Chalkbeat Colorado

2 Comments

  1. FIN Denver on said:

    Well. Dammit! Get the gd state and the gd fed (both in the form of ALEC) to unhitch from the gd Pearson and McGraw hill types, which don’t test basics and don’t allow gd ANYone to know what’s on the gd test! Schools have the test because legislators are paid off by corporate heads who design model legislation and get it enacted by their government bodies. Right?

    (American students will never, I repeat never do well, pass muster, because the testing companies want to stay in business, keep the schools striving. See the film Ed, Inc. to learn more about ALEC, or even see the website PR Watch.)

    Unhitched, schools can actually address the gd basics again, just like before the gd “Nation at Risk” pack of lies and hype.

    Result? Kids will be taught what the gd biz community cries that it needs. How to write, for one. If the business community once good writers and communicators and collaborators, why don’t they push legislators to get schools back to basics, and let the businesses teach their own brand of critical thinking when they hire the employee they need.

    Let the schools teach back to basics, and let the businesses teach critical thinking in their own image. Just like God.

    But the gd PARCC test doesn’t test basics, it tests higher level critical thinking skills. Whoopie ding dong.

    Remember the push down, a few years back, of all skill expectations? Whereat what used to constitute a graduate course and degree is now what constitutes a bachelor’s? The bs work is now expected of HS students? HS level work is now expected at the middle school level and so on, down to where what used to be required in second and first grade is now required by little kinders? Didja know about that scheme?

    So, tell me why college kids need remediation? ? I’ll tell Ya. Because they’ve been dragged through 13 years of learning at an inappropriate pace and level, being tested on what they haven’t been taught! And Rigor? Psh. When some DFER or ALEC thug in the US Department of Education or some state Department of Education or in some Senate or House Education committee decides to bulldoze expectations down to inappropriate levels, as I have described, in the name of rigor (and because they’ve been lobbied by testing companies and the likes of the independence Institute) It’s time to ratchet back those developmentally inappropriate and unrealistic expectations.

    Let that first grader study actually developmentally appropriate first grade material.

    Let sixth-graders be taught and demonstrate skills at appropriate six grade level.

    CAN the gd AP and the quasi-non-prophet College Board, because it’s a scam, and then allow highschoolers to perform where they used to perform before the nation at risk bs.

    Don’t believe what decades of reports have told you about US education competition with Japan and Finland and other systems. One, they are vastly different system than the United States.

    I categorize the above discussed report as just another biased ploy intended to jbwgin again, to ustify another round of another generation of another version of the excessive testing in the state. Less testing, more learning, is what I say. That’ll fix the remediation crisis.

    Until testing eases, and schools return to developmentally appropriate expectations, students will forever be behind the eight ball, and will forever be exiting 12th grade with a deficiency of skills.

    Simply, since the test drives all, and the test doesn’t drive instruction in the basics, kids don’t learn the basics, so they leave the school system with a deficiency in basics. Stop testing. Ratchet back developmentally inappropriate expectations.

    Free our teachers!! Free our students!!

    And while you’re at it legislators, stop cloaking your lobbyist holstering money grab in the name of school choice / charter equalization. Fund the actually 100% public public schools, stop the unreasonable testing so public schools are equally appealing as charter schools, and stop lying to the public.

  2. FIN Denver on said:

    Well. Dammit! Get the gd state and the gd fed (both in the form of ALEC) to unhitch from the gd Pearson and McGraw hill types, which don’t test basics and don’t allow gd ANYone to know what’s on the gd test! Schools have the test because legislators are paid off by corporate heads who design model legislation and get it enacted by their government bodies. Right?

    (American students will never, I repeat never do well, pass muster, because the testing companies want to stay in business, keep the schools striving. See the film Ed, Inc. to learn more about ALEC, or even see the website PR Watch.)

    Unhitched, schools can actually address the gd basics again, just like before the gd “Nation at Risk” pack of lies and hype.

    Result? Kids will be taught what the gd biz community cries that it needs. How to write, for one. If the business community once good writers and communicators and collaborators, why don’t they push legislators to get schools back to basics, and let the businesses teach their own brand of critical thinking when they hire the employee they need.

    Let the schools teach back to basics, and let the businesses teach critical thinking in their own image. Just like God.

    But the gd PARCC test doesn’t test basics, it tests higher level critical thinking skills. Whoopie ding dong.

    Remember the push down, a few years back, of all skill expectations? Whereat what used to constitute a graduate course and degree is now what constitutes a bachelor’s? The bs work is now expected of HS students? HS level work is now expected at the middle school level and so on, down to where what used to be required in second and first grade is now required by little kinders? Didja know about that scheme?

    So, tell me why college kids need remediation? ? I’ll tell Ya. Because they’ve been dragged through 13 years of learning at an inappropriate pace and level, being tested on what they haven’t been taught! And Rigor? Psh. When some DFER or ALEC thug in the US Department of Education or some State Department of Education or in some State Senate or House Education committee decides to bulldoze expectations down to inappropriate levels, as I have described, in the name of rigor (and because they’ve been lobbied by testing companies and the likes of the _____ institute) It’s time to ratchet back those developmentally inappropriate and unrealistic expectations.

    Let that first grader learn actually developmentally appropriate first grade material.

    Let sixth-graders be taught and demonstrate skills at appropriate six grade level.

    CAN the gd AP and the quasi-non-profit College Board, because it is. And they are a scam, and then allow highschoolers to perform where they used to perform before the nation at risk bs.

    Don’t believe what decades of reports have told you about US education competition with Japan and Finland and other systems. One, they are vastly different system than the United States. Two, our schools kick ass!

    I categorize the above discussed report as just another biased ploy intended to spin again, to justify another round of another generation of another version of the excessive testing in this state.

    Less testing, more learning, is what I say. That’ll fix the remediation crisis.

    Until testing eases, and schools return to developmentally appropriate expectations, students will forever be behind the eight ball, and will forever be exiting 12th grade with a deficiency of skills.

    Simply, since the test drives all, and the test doesn’t drive instruction in the basics, kids don’t learn the basics, so they leave the school system with a deficiency in basics. Stop testing. Ratchet back developmentally inappropriate expectations.

    Free our teachers!! Free our students!!

    And while you’re at it legislators, stop cloaking your money grab in the name of school choice / charter equalization. Fund the actually 100% public public schools, stop the unreasonable testing so public schools are equally appealing as charter schools, and stop lying to the public.

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