Standardization vs. Flexibility: State Policy Options on Placement Testing for Developmental Education in Community Colleges

Many students entering community colleges are academically unprepared to succeed in college-level courses, and about one-third of community college students nationally take at least one developmental education course. Given the importance of remediation—as well as its costs and often disappointing results—states are exploring ways to improve developmental education in community colleges. This policy brief describes some of the options and tradeoffs that states encounter as they try to systemize decisions about which students must enroll in developmental education courses. The brief documents variation in policies around mandatory testing, cut scores, and placement in the Achieving the Dream states and several other states.

Resource Files

Policy_brief-StandardFlex.pdf221.94 KB

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