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Illinois students require remediation in community colleges

New postsecondary remediation rate data will help ISBE identify additional supports students need before graduation

New postsecondary remediation data released by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) shows that 48.7 percent of Illinois high school graduates who enrolled in Illinois’ community college system after graduation required remediation in at least one subject.

For the first time, the Illinois Report Card now reports the percentage of graduates at the state-, district-, and high school-level who attended an Illinois community college after graduation and were enrolled in remedial courses. Illinois students had the highest remediation rate in math, with 41.1 percent requiring additional preparation in the subject before advancing toward their degree.

“With the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test, Illinois is equipped to focus on the question of, How ready are our children for what’s coming next?” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “The postsecondary remediation data is an important tool to help us determine how much support our children need when they leave our care.”

Remediation, sometimes called developmental education, is designed to help prepare students who are considered not yet ready for the rigor of entry-level college courses in core academic subjects including reading, math, and science. Community colleges may require students to take remedial courses if they need additional preparation in order to earn credit from college-level studies. These courses trigger tuition costs, but students do not earn college credit.

“Our state and our families literally cannot afford to invest additional time and money for students to acquire the skills and knowledge they should have received during their preK-12 journey,” Smith said. “We must change that, and our new assessment system will help us better gauge students’ college and career readiness before they advance to the next grade level.

The 2015 data is based on the graduating Class of 2013 and has been matched with Illinois Community College Board course data. Highlights include:

Success in two Illinois school districts that saw at least 33 percent of their students — all of whom were deemed ready for credit-bearing coursework — enroll in the Illinois community college system.

Mixed results in districts where at least 12 percent of graduates enrolled in community college: Three districts had no students taking math remediation, while eight had 70 percent or more in math remediation.

Challenges in five districts where 80 percent or more of graduates who enrolled in Illinois community colleges required remediation. With at least 12 percent of graduates from these districts enrolling in Illinois community colleges, remediation is an issue for too many Illinois high school graduates.

“Percent in Remediation” is the number of students who took a remedial course divided by graduates who enrolled in an Illinois Community College. ISBE’s remediation data does not include remediation rates for students at four-year colleges in Illinois or students who enrolled in schools outside of Illinois. It also does not reflect the preparation of students who did not continue their education past high school. To protect student privacy, high schools with fewer than 10 students enrolled in an Illinois community college were redacted.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education will soon collect remediation data and work with ISBE to connect this information to high school districts.

For more detailed data, access the “2015 Remediation Report – State, District, School” at assessment/report_card.htm.

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