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By Paul Bradley  /  
2015 July 8 - 08:43 pm


Featuring: IMPROVING STEM EDUCATION - Redesigning Math Pathways for Improving Teaching and Learning

All across the country, community colleges are undertaking commendable efforts to remove a critical barrier to student success. They are redesigning math pathways in ways that hold great potential for improving teaching and learning. Many are aimed at improving success for those students who need college algebra — many of whom are students in the STEM fields — while also helping students who do not need college algebra to complete college math requirements. Not only are they assisting students move more quickly and successfully through math sequences, but the new approaches have the potential to expand the pipeline of low-income students and students of color into middle-skill STEM careers. But a nagging problem remains. College placement policies and processes are mostly out of synch with reform trends and might actually be diverting STEM interested students from the STEM fields. Academic researchers are increasingly calling for placement policies to also be reformed. A report by Jobs for the Future makes six recommendations for reforming the placement policies that steer huge percentages of community college students into remediation courses. The California-based Policy Analysis for California Education, meanwhile, says the state has to rethink its placement policies so they serve as a foundation for student success rather than a filter to manage enrollment.

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