The assumption that so many community-college students were taking remedial classes because they didn’t gain the math and English skills they needed in high school is out of date. College-placement tests have been largely discredited. Schools now take high-school grades and statewide exams into account, and some of the old placement policies seemed to discriminate against poor and minority students, according to Rachel Clements, a program officer at College Spark Washington . The organization is focused on getting more kids to go to and graduate from college.
Bad mistake here: This will mot be good for students or for math and English teachers of first-year students. Those who really do have too much to learn will end up flunking – and thus have to go to community college –making it more likely they will never transfer back into the four year system.
Many studies show this. And first-year teachers will have too many different levels in their classrooms to teach effectively. This policy will only knock out or discourage the underprepared from applying. Those that remain will graduate faster. While that’s great for those that are ready, it will really add another barrier for disadvantaged students.
What’s really needed is an expansion of higher ed capacity in California’s four-year institutions. That would improve graduation rates because people wouldn’t be burdened by year(s) of extra costs because they can’t get classes because of lack of capacity. This is why many transfer elsewhere or don’t finish. And they certainly don’t finish in four years. But California taxpayers don’t want to pay for that. Rather, they want to have their middle and upper class cake and eat it too, and to hell with students who need more time.