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ERIC Number: EJ805420
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul-4
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
3 New Studies Question the Value of Remedial College Courses
Schmidt, Peter
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n43 pA18 Jul 2008
Studying the effects of remedial education is a little like studying the effects of heart surgery. Simply comparing the fates of those who underwent it with those who did not yields terribly misleading results. After all, one group generally starts out in much worse shape. Three new studies of the effects of remedial programs seek to overcome this conundrum by limiting themselves to students who entered college with similar levels of academic preparation--just enough to be in a gray area where some of them ended up taking remedial classes, and others did not. The researchers' findings suggest that, on the whole, remedial programs deserve neither the bad rap they have received from some critics nor the faith placed in them by many advocates. In fact, on the whole, such programs do not have much long-term influence on students' success. The researchers involved with the three new studies caution that their methodology prevented them from looking at an entire subset of students: those who entered college so academically unprepared that they stood virtually no chance of going straight into regular academic classes. They say the impact of remedial classes on such students remains an open question, and the only way to answer it may be to randomly assign some to remedial classes while placing others in regular academic courses--an approach that raises ethical questions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A