The College Puzzle Blog
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Dr. Michael W. Kirst

Michael W. Kirst is Professor Emeritus of Education and Business Administration at Stanford University since 1969.
Dr. Kirst received his Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard. Before joining the Stanford University faculty, Dr. Kirst held several positions with the federal government, including Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment and Poverty. He was a former president of the California State Board of Education. His book From High School to College with Andrea Venezia was published by Jossey Bass in 2004.

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My blog discusses the important and complex subjects of college completion, college success, student risk factors (for failing), college readiness, and academic preparation. I will explore the pieces of the college puzzle that heavily influence, if not determine, college success rates.

Community College Cutpoints for Remediation

Accuplacer is a community college placement test. It is part of the College Board and administered by ETS. I recently looked at the cut scores for placing a student in remedial math established by different states, and found they are all over the place. For elementary algebra, Floridas uses 72,Massachusetts 82, Texas 63, Minn 75, and Colorado 85! Students who score below these cut points are usually placed in remediation for algebra.
Clearly, there is little consensus on what remediation means and how it is determined. Placement exams and their standards are the dark continent of education testing. How can high schools students possibly know what they must know and be able to do to start college in credit bearing courses that are not remedial? College completion and preparation are less adequate because of this lack of transparent standards.

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