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updated: 12/17/2015 4:14 PM

State: Nearly half need remediation when they start community college

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State education officials say nearly half of Illinois high school graduates enrolled in state community colleges require remediation.

New postsecondary remediation data released by the Illinois State Board of Education show 48.7 percent of nearly 40,000 high school graduates enrolled in community colleges required remediation in at least one subject.

This is the first year the Illinois School Report Card has reported the percentage of graduates at the state, district and high school level who attended a state community college after graduation and were enrolled in remedial courses. Illinois students had the highest remediation rate in math with 41.1 percent requiring additional preparation before advancing toward their degree, while 16.1 percent of students needed remediation in reading.

Officials say the data will help identify additional supports students need before graduation.

"With the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test, Illinois is equipped to focus on the question of, 'How ready are our children for what's coming next?' " State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith said in a news release. "The postsecondary remediation data is an important tool to help us determine how much support our children need when they leave our care."

Remediation, also known as developmental education, is designed to help prepare students considered not yet ready for the rigor of entry-level college courses in core academic subjects, including reading, math and science.

While students have to pay the tuition costs for remedial courses required by community colleges, they do not earn college credit.

"Our state and our families literally cannot afford to invest additional time and money for students to acquire the skills and knowledge they should have received during their preK-12 journey," Smith said. "We must change that, and our new assessment system will help us better gauge students' college and career readiness before they advance to the next grade level."

The 2015 data is based on the Class of 2013 and has been matched with Illinois Community College Board course data. "Percent in Remediation" is the number of students who took a remedial course divided by graduates who enrolled in a state community college.

ISBE's remediation data does not include rates for students at four-year Illinois colleges or students enrolled in out-of-state schools. It also does not reflect the preparation of students who did not continue education past high school. High schools with fewer than 10 students enrolled in an Illinois community college were redacted.

For more detailed data, access the "2015 Remediation Report -- State, District, School" at isbe.net.

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