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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Florida's remediation rates, some of the highest in the nation

Florida State College reports that 70% of grads have to take remedial classes, far exceeding the state average of 55%. -cpg

By Valerie Strauss

For a number of years now, we’ve heard how successful standardized testing dominated-reforms have been in places such as New York City and Florida.

New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has been a leader of modern school reform over the past eight years, as is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who began changing the state’s public education system in 1999 and who still has big influence there. In fact, Klein was influenced by Bush’s pro-choice, test-driven reform.

In both places standardized test scores were used to grade students, schools and now teachers. And in both places, officials pointed to a rise in those test scores as evidence of their success.

The bubble burst in New York City this year when it was discovered that the tests used to measure student progress had gotten increasingly easy to pass.

But now there’s another factor that raises questions about just what is going on New York City’s schools: the remediation rate in city community colleges.

Newly released figures show that nearly 75 percent of city high students entering City University community colleges could not pass placement exams in reading, math and writing this year, requiring remediation.

That’s up from 71 percent in 2009 but down from 2002, when 82 percent needed remediation, according to the New York Daily News.

So after eight years of Klein reforms, the remediation rate has gone from 82 percent to nearly 75 percent.

Not exactly a record to be proud of.

Down in Florida, the Florida Department of Education reports that 55% of all students entering Florida’s public post-secondary institutions require remediation in mathematics, reading, and/or writing. And that figure has remained steady for a number of years.

If the school reforms are as great as advertised, shouldn’t these remediation numbers be declining?

Taken from the Washington Post:

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