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The remedial track.

JUST HOW UNPREPARED HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS ARE FOR COLLEGE course work is the basis for Claiming Common Ground, a new report from The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. Drawing on a number of surveys and collaborations, the report offers suggestions for reforms to help improve college readiness. The report says that most students focus on college admission, but "the more difficult challenge for students is becoming prepared academically for college coursework."

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 28 percent of entering freshmen enrolled in remedial reading, writing, or mathematics courses in fall 2000. Twenty-two percent of students took remedial math, 14 percent writing, and 11 percent reading. The NCPP points out that standard academic admission requirements are often different than the knowledge measured by college placement tests. The first recommendation is for K-12 and postsecondary institutions to align their coursework and assessments. "The quality and level of the coursework and instruction [at the K-12 level], and their level of alignment with post secondary expectations, are the key elements of reform," the report states. The No Child Left Behind act requires testing in grades 4 through 8 and grade 10, but not for junior or senior year of high school, something that should be changed, according to the report.

Other recommendations in the report are for states to develop financial incentives to encourage collaboration; developing a state-wide system to track a student's entire academic career, including enrollment in multiple IHEs; and publicly reporting on student progress and success K-20. To see the full reports, visit www.highereducation.org and ww.nces.ed.gov.--A.M.
Percentage of entering freshmen enrolled in remedial
courses

Type of Number of entering Reading, writing,
institution freshmen (in thousands) or mathematics

All institutions 2,396 28
Public 2-year 992 42
Private 2 year 58 24
Private 4-year 497 12

Type of
institution Reading Writing Mathematics

All institutions 11 14 22
Public 2-year 20 23 35
Private 2 year 9 17 18
Private 4-year 5 7 8

Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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Title Annotation:STATS WATCH
Publication:University Business
Date:Jun 1, 2006
Words:341
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