America’s largest public university system will overhaul its remedial education system under an executive order signed Wednesday.
California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White’s order mandates that Cal State schools discontinue math and English placement exams and the noncredit remedial courses that more than 25,000 freshmen have been required to take until now. The change will go into effect in fall 2018.
Cal State reasons that the system can more accurately assess placement based on application components, including high school grades and standardized test scores. Meanwhile, the lack of remedial courses could help students graduate faster, thereby increasing the system’s four-year graduation rate, a number Cal State hopes to double to 40% by 2025.
Can remedial education help students succeed or is it more likely to hold them back? Should placement tests be based on performance in high school or in college?
James Minor, senior strategist for Academic Success and Inclusive Excellence for The California State University