Friday, April 3, 2009

More Strong Evidence – Senate Bill 1 Was Definitely Needed

– And, the CATS assessments definitely needed to go

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s (CPE) research arm just sent me new data on the remediation requirements for students who entered college in Kentucky in the fall of 2006. This adds to earlier information from the CPE, which only covered 2002 and 2004.

Here is how the new 2006 data for Kentucky’s recent high school graduates compares to earlier information:

Note: Derived from a paper with same title dated April 1, 2009, from the CPE

As you can see, over an extended period that our CATS assessment was telling us Kentucky was making notable progress, the overall requirement for remediation in college freshmen hardly budged, dropping a scant three percent from 48 to 45 percent. This is particularly unsatisfactory because the math situation stayed all but perfectly flat, and so did our student’s critical ability to read at the level needed for postsecondary pursuits.

So, hats off to Kentucky Senators Dan Kelly and David Williams, and to the entire Kentucky legislature. They came together, carefully looked at what was happening, and then worked in a highly productive, collaborative way to re-aim our education system in a better direction. Clearly, CATS was not providing the proper stimulus and direction to our public school system. Our continued trend of very high college remediation rates – now obvious through 2006 – shows the rosy data from CATS was simply misleading.

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