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ERIC Number: EJ986277
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0894-3907
Update: Report on Innovations in Developmental Mathematics--Moving Mathematical Graveyards
Merseth, Katherine K.
Journal of Developmental Education, v34 n3 p32-33, 36-38 Spr 2011
Every year tens of thousands of students step foot on community college campuses, many for the first time. These students all have one thing in common: hope. They enter these institutions with lofty goals and a fervent expectation that the educative experience they are about to embark upon will fundamentally improve their lives. Yet, their hopes and dreams often fade and sometimes die within a quarter, a semester, or a year. This is because currently up to 60% of community college students who take the placement exam upon entrance learn they must take at least one developmental education course to build their basic academic skills. High failure rates, increased debt burdens, and a lack of credits on transcripts can accelerate a downward spiral of giving up, checking out, and deciding that "college just isn't for me." Nowhere in the community college curriculum is this failure rate of graver concern than in developmental mathematics courses. Indeed, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching President Anthony S. Bryk has frequently said, "Developmental mathematics courses represent the graveyard of dreams and aspirations." Though he had no direct experience in the community college sector, Bryk quickly realized that the problem of failure rates in developmental math was alarmingly complex and complicated. In September 2009, Carnegie launched its mathematics pathways initiative to aggressively put an end to the crippling failure rates of developmental math students in community colleges across the country. The $13 million initiative, funded by six foundations, is building a unique networked community of 27 community colleges and 3 universities to develop two newly designed mathematical pathways across 8 states. These pathways are called Statway[TM] and Quantway[TM]. This article presents an update to the report on innovations in developmental mathematics.
National Center for Developmental Education. Appalachian State University, P.O. Box 32098, Boone, NC 28608-2098. Tel: 828-262-3057; Fax: 828-262-7183; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A