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.

College Remediation Rates Are Understated by US Department of Education

The US Department of Education in 2003 released its percentages of entering "freshmen" enrolled in developmental courses, 2000- see NCES 2004-10 report, 2003. These are now the official figures and are widely cited as authoritative source on the incidence of remediation in postsecondary education. The 42% public 2 year rate is way off, and the real number is over 60% as evdenced by another US Department study by Clifford Adelman who used transcripts of a representative sample on college students in his books Answers in the Toolbox and Toolbox Revisited.
A new Ca. study of Community Colleges found more than 70% of students ages 17-19 were placed in remedial math, and 42% in remedial English-twillet@calpass.org. The Us Dept number of 42% is number enrolled in remedial course , not the number who need it. This may account for some of the underestimate, but the department needs a new remediation study and precise concepts to clarify this crucial misperception. Then we need a good cost estimate of all remediation.

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