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 Ohio high school graduates who enroll in Ohio’s public colleges and universities are placed into remedial math or English classes, which are also called developmental education.
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.
State officials want to reduce the number of students assigned to remedial classes, particularly at higher-level institutions which have higher costs of instruction. They say remedial classes are an inefficient use of public funds and student tuition. Plus, students in remedial classes are less likely to graduate or earn vocational certifications.
The standards for being assigned to remedial classes vary by school. And it’s not clear that every student who is assigned to a remedial class actually benefits from it. Research from Columbia University’s Community College Research Center suggests that high school GPAs might actually be “better predictors of student success than placement tests.”