Indiana News

State Tries Again to Spot Reading and Math Problems Before Graduation

5/14/2013

One in four Indiana college students needs remedial help when he gets there. Education officials are working on guidelines to spot those students while they're still in high school.

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A new state law gives the Department of Education, the Commission for Higher Education, the State Board of Education, the Education Roundtable, and the Department of Workforce Development seven weeks to propose a way to identify students likely to need remediation.

Those students would then take a college and career readiness exam as juniors, to allow remediation the following year. C-H-E Commissioner Teresa Lubbers says waiting until after high school to fix reading and math problems costs colleges $35 million  -- and 80% of those students still don't complete their degrees.

The 10th-grade Graduation Qualifying Exam was designed to ensure graduates had mastered those basic skills. But schools can issue waivers to allow students to graduate anyway. Department of Education spokesman Daniel Altman says waiver students are likely to be one focus of the remediation guidelines.

But Lubbers says the agencies will need to examine the issue in more depth. She says many students receive Core 40 diplomas, without a waiver, yet need remediation.

With a report due by July 1, Lubbers says the agencies may issue interim standards while continuing work on more detailed guidelines.

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