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Ready or Not: How Multiple Measures of College Readiness Can Help Reduce Unnecessary Remediation


by Judith Scott-Clayton — November 17, 2014

While the prevalence of remediation has generated widespread concern about the college readiness of our nation’s high school graduates, comparatively little attention has been paid to how “readiness” is actually determined. At most community colleges and at many nonselective four-year colleges, readiness is determined by scores on short standardized math and English placement tests. This commentary describes research finding that assignment to remedial or college-level courses based on standardized placement exams results in large numbers of placement errors, and that incorporating high school transcript information would lead to fewer assignments to remediation while maintaining or increasing success rates in college-level Math and English.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: November 17, 2014
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17757, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 2:46:24 PM

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About the Author
  • Judith Scott-Clayton
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    JUDITH SCOTT-CLAYTON is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia, where she teaches labor economics and quantitative methods for causal inference. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the Community College Research Center. Her primary interests are postsecondary education, inequality, and policy design and evaluation, with a particular focus on financial aid and other policies aimed at improving college attainment among disadvantaged populations.
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