Report on California Developmental Education

Back to Basics: Improving College Readiness of Community College (2008). Elizabeth G. Hill • Legislative Analyst

I highly recommend reading this report about remedial and developmental education in California. It raises critical issues, especially the need for more structure and mandatory participation in such programs for identified students and the need to partner more effectively with secondary education. Following are several short excerpts from the report.

"While the state and community colleges are investing a significant amount of time and money in basic skills education, we believe that substantial advancements can only come about if CCC changes its policies to promote a more effective delivery of services. In this report, we identified several areas of potential improvements at the community colleges, as well as statutory changes for legislative consideration. Taken together, we believe that these recommendations would help to increase the preparation levels of recent high school graduates and the ability of the community colleges to identify, place, and counsel basic skills students.􀀹Provide an indication to high school students about their readiness for college-level work at California Community Colleges (CCC) by expanding California State University’s Early Assessment Program."

Four Major Recommendations from the Report:
1. Develop a CCC placement test based on K-12’s English and math Cali-fornia Standards Tests (CST).
2. For colleges that choose to retain their current placement exam, require their acceptance of CST results and translation of CST scores into their own test results as a condition of receiving “basic skills initiative��? funds.
3. Enact legislation that allows colleges to require underprepared students to take basic skills coursework beginning in their first term.
4. Allow CCC to provide more support services to students by amending the “fifty percent law,��? which currently limits colleges’ fiscal flexibility to hire academic counselors.