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ERIC Number: ED523549
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
Effective Basic Skills Instruction: The Case for Contextualized Developmental Math. Policy Brief 11-1
Wiseley, W. Charles
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE (NJ3)
As the state emerges from another recession, jobs that remain and those opening require workers with higher-order skills most often acquired in postsecondary education. Increasing numbers of adults look to community colleges to learn those skills and to find a way out of a cycle of low paying, unstable jobs. Even workers with years of experience see community colleges as a mechanism to keep their jobs by increasing their skill levels and their appeal to employers. Recent research on students entering California community colleges found that less than one in ten students who enter at the basic arithmetic or pre-algebra math level successfully complete college-level math. Students entering at the next higher level of math (elementary algebra) are only slightly more likely to succeed in college-level math. Yet, college-level math skills are required for success in nearly all college programs including most occupationally-focused certificate programs. Overall, fewer than 20 percent of remedial math students who do not complete a college level math course earn a certificate, degree, or transfer to a four-year university within six years. In this policy brief, the author documents both the scarcity and the effectiveness of contextualized developmental math in the 110 public California Community Colleges (CCC) during the 2006-2007 academic year. (Contains 7 tables and 3 endnotes.)
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE. 3653 Tolman Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1670. Tel: 510-642-7223; Fax: 510-642-9148; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: James Irvine Foundation
Authoring Institution: Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE)
Identifiers - Location: California