Students not up to grade

first_imgTo help reach their goal of 90 percent proficiency among incoming freshmen, CSU and state education officials have developed proficiency exams that are given to high school juniors to test their skills in English and math. The so-called Early Assessment Program is still too new to determine whether it is working, Jones said. “We have some preliminary information showing some early signs that there are significant increases in proficiency, but it’s still too early,” Jones said. At Cal State Northridge, one of the largest CSU campuses – with some 34,500 students – the number of incoming freshmen who needed remedial math edged up slightly last fall to 57 percent, while those who needed help with English lingered at nearly 40 percent. “Why the percentage has increased is not really clear,” said Michael Neubauer, director for the Developmental Mathematics Program at CSUN. “We’re trying all kinds of immediate things, such as offering a remediate course in the summer before students start classes,” he said. “We have the capacity to teach as many students as want to take it, but students don’t often come in.” The glut of students stuck at remedial levels is having a direct impact on the work force in California, which is facing shortages in the health care, manufacturing and even building and construction industries. “Without literacy skills coming out of the high school system, you are challenged in a number of ways, including access to higher education,” said Bruce Stenslie, deputy director for the California Workforce Association. Instructors are trying to help students apply math and English skills to specific interests. “What we’re trying to do is find ways to make sure that we’re giving them the bridge to these careers,” Stenslie said. “It’s a lot easier for me to figure out geometry if you show me why I need those figures to build something.” The CSU study also found that students who are unable to achieve proficiency within one year, and who are thus dismissed from the university, are unlikely to go to community colleges to seek additional help. From 2000 to 2003, an estimated 10 percent to 13 percent of students returned to CSUs one year after being ousted. The board is expected to discuss the effectiveness of the dismissal policy at today’s meeting. Meanwhile, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is scheduled to attend a Career Technical Education summit today to discuss how California can attain a competitive global work force. Schwarzenegger has increased funding for technical education by 18 percent and has proposed $52 million for technical education programs. This includes $32 million in new funding to reform technical instruction in high schools and community colleges. susan.abram@dailynews.com (818) 713-3664 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The report is expected to be presented today to the CSU system board of trustees, which has reviewed similar studies since 1996. The trustees had hoped to have just 10 percent of students in remediation by this fall. The study also found that 68 percent of the freshmen who received remedial help when they entered a CSU in 2001 had either graduated or were still enrolled by 2006. That compares with 69 percent of freshmen who entered the university at the same time but didn’t need remedial classes. “That means we’re doing a good job in providing remedial classes to these students,” Jones said. Researchers found that students were more likely to struggle with reading comprehension than with writing or math, Jones said. NORTHRIDGE – Despite efforts at local, state and federal levels to improve achievement, more than one-third of the students who enrolled last fall at California State University campuses needed remedial help in math, while nearly half needed help in English, a study released Monday says. Some 37 percent of students who entered as freshmen in fall 2006 were not proficient in math, while 45 percent fell short in English. The study also found that while the student population grew by 19 percent from 1998 to 2006, the need for remedial classes was up 24 percent during the same period. “What is disappointing is those from the graduating (high school) classes who don’t need remedial classes has leveled off,” said Allison Jones, vice chancellor for academic affairs for the CSU system. “The students are not demonstrating the level of proficiency that we would like.” last_img read more