[Ed. – Why make them attend class at all?]
On Wednesday, California State Chancellor Timothy P. White announced that the public university system will no longer incorporate placement exams for English and mathematics for incoming freshmen. In his executive order, White stated that it was important to measure proficiency in English and mathematics through “multiple measures,” including SAT scores and high school grades. He also announced that Cal State would commence an “Early Start Program,” which is intended to help incoming students who have poor proficiency in the aforementioned subjects.
The controversy about remedial education and placement exams is not new. The Public Policy Institute of California, for example, found that eight out of ten community college students take remedial classes to gain college-level skills but only 16% of those students acquire either a skill certificate or finish a two-year degree within six years. This study sparked a conversation about whether these placement exams set up those who lack English or mathematics proficiency for failure, as opposed to properly preparing students for real-world jobs and skills. Thus, many argue that these new guidelines will do more to help people move forward in their careers and education.