New data shows that at Kentucky’s current rate of extremely slow improvement, it will require more than half a century to eliminate the need for remedial math courses for entering college freshmen.
The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) just issued a new data concerning the actual percentages of 2008 Kentucky high school graduates who immediately required remedial courses upon entering the state’s postsecondary system in the Fall of 2008.
This graph (click on it to enlarge) shows the statewide breakdown of the percentage of recent Kentucky high school graduates who needed to take remedial courses immediately upon college entry. The data is for entering college classes from 2002 to 2008.
Regarding this new data, CPE President Bob King says, “This report shows that we are making progress in the proportion of high school graduates choosing to attend college, and in the levels of readiness of students who enroll in college directly from high school.” However, King also says, “We need to produce even greater improvement, faster.”
Click the “Read more” link to learn more.
First of all, our sharp readers will note that the numbers listed for 2002 to 2006 in the graph above are different from those in previous CPE reports. The CPE explains this is due to changes in the way this data is now collected and analyzed. It should also be noted that these figures do include private/home school as well as public school students.
The good news is that the remedial requirements have dropped, a little, over the six-year period covered by this data.
The bad news, as King points out, is the trend of improvement over time is painfully slow.
I did a regression analysis of the change in the percentage of students needing remedial math courses during the six-year reporting period. I found on average the rate of improvement works out to only 0.515 percentage points per year. At this current, very slow rate of improvement, it would take more than half a century to eliminate the need for college remedial math courses for Kentucky’s high school graduates. Clearly, as King points out, “We need to produce even greater improvement, faster.” A lot faster, given that the Chinese, Indians, South Koreans, Singaporeans etc., are not likely to let us wait that long before they totally overwhelm our economy.
One other note: When the data for the entering college class of 2010 is posted, the CPE will be using tougher standards in math and reading to determine if remedial courses are required. CPE has analyzed current college performance and has found that the existing standards which were used to create the graph above are not tough enough. Thus, while the data graphed above show some improvement, this may not accurately show the true percentages of students that really need help before they tackle regular college courses.
The CPE high school feedback reports are available on line here.
Data used to assemble the graph above came from the “Statewide” link on this web page.
I’ll be doing more analysis of the data, so stay tuned.