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ERIC Number: ED564294
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 50
Degrees of Freedom: Probing Math Placement Policies at California Colleges and Universities (Report 3 of a 3-Part Series)
Burdman, Pamela
Policy Analysis for California Education, PACE
There is growing concern that the remedial math courses taken by most community college students unnecessarily divert some students from earning a degree. Anecdotes of students who thought they had completed their math requirements in high school only to have remedial courses delay their progress through college are common. In addition, research has shown that African American and Latino students are disproportionately affected, frequently facing three or four remedial math classes. Redesigning the placement policies that assign students to these sequences could be as important as redesigning the curricula into which students are placed. To address concerns about ineffective and inconsistent placement practices, community colleges and some universities around the nation are adopting three types of reforms: (1) changing tests; (2) de-emphasizing tests; and (3) supporting students' test-taking. Such changes could reverberate across the educational segments from the universities that enroll community college transfer students to the K-12 schools expected to get students college-ready. This is the third report in "Degrees of Freedom," a series that explores the role of math as a gatekeeper in higher education. It examines concerns that placement policies unfairly send the majority of community college students to remedial math, deterring them from completing college. It also considers how changes in these policies interact with university placement policies as well as with K-12 college readiness strategies. [For part 1 of this series, see ED564291. For part 2 of this series, see ED564295.]
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 - Evaluative
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE); LearningWorks
Identifiers - Location: California