Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Does Indiana Have A 'Mediocre' Track Record On Remediation?

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Graduates at Indiana University's winter commencement ceremonies at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

Following-up on her story about a new state law requiring Indiana high schools to identify students who are most at-risk of failing mandatory graduation exams, CNHI statehouse reporter Maureen Hayden penned this commentary:

Statewide data collected by the Indiana Commission on Higher Education show that almost 30 percent of Hoosier high school graduates need to take at least one remedial course in math or English when they get to college. (It’s more than 60 percent for Indiana high school graduates headed to our two-year colleges.) Those are courses that carry no credit, but cost just the same as the ones that do…

Is that even close to “good?”

“Mediocre” might even be a stretch when considering our dismal educational track record: We’re one of the least-educated states in the nation, as measured by four-year college graduates in our adult population. Only about one-third of adults in Indiana hold at least a two-year degree. (From the News & Tribune)

Do you agree with Hayden’s analysis? Read it in full here, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

On a related note, Indiana’s graduation numbers for 2012 came out this week. The statewide graduation rate ticked up slightly to 88.4 percent. We have data for each school in the state along with a few takeaways from the numbers.


  • Karynb9

    Are the colleges using consistent, measurable criteria for determining which students are in need of the remediation classes? Looking at a high school GPA or SAT score and automatically registering a student for remediation courses at the college level doesn’t necessarily demonstrate a “need” for remediation for an individual student. Unfortunately, that’s exactly how some colleges in this state determine whether or not a student needs remediation. Didn’t score above a _____ on the math part of his SATs? Stick him in remedial math. Didn’t score above a _____ on the writing section of the SAT? Remedial English. I personally don’t think that’s a valid way to place students in those classes.

    Also, before we sound the alarms too loudly and point the fingers too angrily, maybe people also need to reread the information about how those remedial courses carry no credit, but cost just the same as the ones that do. If you’re a college in need of a little extra funding, wouldn’t it benefit you to schedule lots of kids in remedial courses and make them pay YOU for an extra three to six credit hours (with courses typically being taught by low-cost adjuncts or even grad students) behind what they will be required to take for a degree? One would think that colleges who are truly tired of having to teach remedial courses and have no concern about money would simply tighten up their admission standards so kids who need remediation would be denied admission in the first place. However, that’s not happening. Can we be sure that motivations are pure?

  • inteach

    I would say at least 30% of the students I receive each year need some level of remediation.

    I don’t blame the grade ahead of me; that’s just part of being an educator.

    What’s wrong with colleges and universities being responsible for remediation? Are they too good for that?

    I thought they were schools, too.

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