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Considering the Role of State Policy in Developmental Education Tara L. Parker, Ph.D. Assistant Professor University of Massachusetts Boston ECS National.

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Presentation on theme: "Considering the Role of State Policy in Developmental Education Tara L. Parker, Ph.D. Assistant Professor University of Massachusetts Boston ECS National."— Presentation transcript:

1 Considering the Role of State Policy in Developmental Education Tara L. Parker, Ph.D. Assistant Professor University of Massachusetts Boston ECS National Forum Nashville, TN July 10, 2009

2 History of Remedial and Developmental Education What is remedial/developmental education? Calls the purpose of higher education into question Over 300 years of debate

3 Why do we care? Educational attainment and workforce development goals There is no typical remedial student

4 Demographic profile of students enrolled in remedial coursework: 40% from rural schools 38% from suburban schools 52% from urban high schools 24% high SES; 52% low SES 46% of students who took academically rigorous high school courses

5 Criticisms of Remedial Education Underpreparation – High school graduates are severely underprepared Location – Remedial education belongs in 2-year colleges, not four-year Outcomes - Remedial education is lowering graduation rates Cost – Remedial education is too expensive

6 Underpreparation Students are perceived as severely underprepared and are “bogged down”, yet Arbitrary definitions of college readiness exist Most remedial students often require enrollment in only one or two remedial courses Nearly half of students who took academically rigorous HS curriculum enrolled in remedial courses

7 Location Community colleges “are better equipped” to serve underprepared students, yet There is little evidence to support the assertion that remedial education at community college is better Community colleges are more likely than four- year colleges to require remedial education

8 Outcomes Remedial education rates are on the rise Remedial courses lower graduation rates, yet Evidence suggests remediation rates have changed little since the 1970s Research is inconclusive regarding degree completion

9 Cost Remedial Education is too expensive; taxpayers are “paying twice,” yet Social costs of lower levels of educational attainment due in part to not providing it Opportunities for increases in tax revenue

10 State Approaches to Remedial/Developmental Education Reduce Eliminate Innovate

11 Ideal State for Remedial Education Policy Rethink the way remediation is “branded” Assess definitions of college readiness Develop innovative P-20 collaborations Address the needs of adult and ESL students Monitor policies related to remedial education, particularly if a state limits it Assess the impact of remediation policies on different student populations Consider implementation and institutional responses

12 Getting Past Go Exploring the relationship between state policy and remedial education What are states doing? How state policy is implemented at system and institutional levels Educational Outcomes

13 References Adelman, C. (2006). The toolbox revisited: Paths to degree completion from high school through college. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Attewell, P., Lavin, D., Domina, T., & Levey, T. (2006). New evidence on college remediation. Journal of Higher Education, 77(5), Bettinger, E. P., & Long, B. T. (2005). Addressing the needs of underprepared students in higher education: Does college remediation work? (NBER Working Paper No ). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Parker, T. L. (2007). Ending college remediation: Consequences for access and opportunity. (ASHE/Lumina Policy Briefs and Critical Essays No. 2). Ames: Iowa State University, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Parker, T. L., & Bustillos, L. T. (2007, April). A tale of two univer(cities): Race, remediation, and inequality. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.


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