August 2017

CSU Finally Ends Remedial Classes that Delay Progress Toward a Degree

San Francisco Chronicle
CSU Finally Ends Remedial Classes that Delay Progress Toward a Degree

"While remedial courses are intended to help students succeed, recent research shows that they can deter students from pursuing a degree, and many students could succeed without them."

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE—It has been more than two decades since the Cal State University system first made headlines for attempting to eliminate remedial classes. The trustees’ 1995 plan to phase out the courses sounded bold at the time, but as their 2007 deadline came and went, it proved quixotic. Now CSU is back in the news, making good on the trustees’ 22-year-old pledge with Chancellor Timothy P. White’s August executive order to end stand-alone remedial classes. But this time, the motivation is different: a concern that its policies were inadvertently setting up students to fail. Data show that underrepresented minority students bear the brunt of existing policies, including placement tests with limited predictive value.

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