In Connecticut, approximately 2/3 of full-time students entering community college need remedial education to assist them with obtaining a college-entrance level of knowledge in math and English. However, only 8% of the students taking remedial courses are graduating (i.e., receiving a credential) within 3 years. These statistics indicate that existing remedial education measures are not successful or effective for translating into workplace readiness and educational attainment.
Public Act 12-40 has three major components:
There is a substantial financial investment required to implement the act by the fall of 2014. Moreover, meaningful metrics to evaluate the success of the new remedial education models introduced are not fully developed, and long-term data on the success of the act will require additional resources to track and analyze. However, as Harris stated, “We want students to spend time and money earning college credits instead of taking remedial courses that don’t count towards graduate requirements.” Moreover, the act is designed to encourage the state educational entities to produce college graduates with the necessary skills to compete in the local, state, national, and international workforce.Emphasis is also placed on public high schools to identify students who are behind at an earlier point in time. Therefore, students will be assessed for potential college readiness in 8th and 10th grades. In addition, the high school curriculum in math and English will be aligned with Common Core State Standards, and certain priority school districts will be encouraged to redesign 12th grade math and English courses so that they better align with entry-level college courses. These measures will potentially encourage a smoother transition from high school to college.
Center Directors Kenny Nienhusser, Center for Learning and Professional Education, and Diana LaRocco, Center for Public Health and Education Policy.