Ohio state officials have been saying for a while now that around 40 percent of Ohio high school graduates aren’t ready for college-level work. They base that figure on a 2009 report from the Ohio Board of Regents that says that about 40 percent of students who enroll in Ohio’s public colleges and universities are placed into remedial classes. Those are classes that teach students what they were supposed to learn in high school, and that they have to pass before taking freshman-level classes.
But a pair of recently released reports from Columbia University’s Community College Research Center suggests the tests many Ohio colleges use to decide who has to take remedial clases are flawed. High school GPAs might be “better predictors of student success than placement tests,” Inside Higher Ed says:
The research, which analyzed data from a large, urban community college system and a statewide two-year system, found that up to a third of students who placed into remedial classes on the basis of the placement tests could have passed college-level classes with a grade of B or better…
However, the two new studies found strong evidence that high school GPAs are better predictors of student success than placement tests.
“Information on a student’s high school transcript could complement or substitute for that student’s placement test scores,” according to the report. “This would lead to a faster and more successful progression through college.”