The educational system is a very important component to American society, in fact, it is so important that there have been thousands of laws written that directly affect education — by virtually every state in the Union.

With that being said, it is not terribly difficult to see that there are still areas where the American collegiate system can improve. Case in point: prerequisites required to enroll in an introductory math or English course.

Recently, a piece of legislation was passed entitled “AB 705” which seeks to alter the prerequisites required in order to enroll in introductory math and English courses.

According to a release produced by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin’s office,

“A recent PPIC report found that 80% of students entering community college statewide are deemed underprepared and are referred to at least one remedial course in math or English. A recent study done in Ventura County shows that the success rates for Oxnard Community College students beginning in remedial courses are just 34% for English and 27% for math.  National research by Columbia University has concluded that placement tests alone have been poor predictors of a student’s success and multiple measures can significantly reduce remediation rates.”

Again the Assemblywoman is quoted saying,

“For far too long the sole use of placement tests has served as a barrier for students entering community college and receiving their diploma,’ said Irwin. ‘We need to change the way that colleges are assessing students by using multiple measures, including high school grades and overall GPA, to determine whether a student needs to take remedial courses or is prepared to start off in college level classes. By requiring colleges to use multiple measures, AB 705 allows students to move through college at a rate that matches their potential and increases their likelihood for success,’ she concluded.”

Community colleges are more than grades 13 and 14; rather, they are a strong means for advancing the cause of education for post-high school graduates that are not quite ready for university or who are looking to fulfill general education requirements.

Time will only tell if this law ends up helping or hurting the college system in this state, but there is little doubt that it will have some impact.

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