Response to a Board of Trustees (BOT) September 2007 Agenda Item - CSU Remediation Policies and Practices:
Overview and Prospects

AS-2824-07/TEKR (Rev)


RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) recommends the Chancellor’s Office develop and implement an ongoing process for updating and documenting remediation efforts at each of the CSU campuses and the collaborative work being done between campus and local high schools, and for assessing the results of these collaborative efforts and making adjustments and recommendations for improvement as needed; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU recommends that the Chancellor’s Office provide for a comprehensive annual report in which findings and recommendations inform decisions about the levels of K-12 and CSU funding necessary to adequately address the continuing needs for remediation; and be it further

RESOLVED: The ASCSU recommends that the Chancellor’s Office provide for a process for regularly bringing together developmental math and English representatives – both faculty and staff – from the campuses to collaborate and to provide the Chancellor’s Office and the Board of Trustees with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of remediation efforts across the system; and be it further

RESOLVED: The ASCSU concurs with the endorsement by the Board of Trustees of a new set of guiding principles, but strongly recommends that these principles be used as guidelines for remedial practices and not to prescribe programs or practices; and be it further

RESOLVED: The ASCSU approves of the eight principles to be considered by the Board of Trustees, albeit with some clarifications. The eight Principles are listed below. Clarifications are noted for Principles three, five, six, seven and eight.

Principle 1: Maintain current commitment to working with California public schools to improve the college-readiness of first-time Freshmen
Principle 2: Recognize that there are multiple levels of readiness
Principle 3: Strengthen “early start” programs

Clarification. Principle statements should not recommend a “practice” but should guide the work that develops the practices. Public school and university faculty and staff should have the flexibility to develop plans and programs that produce results given the constraints that are unique to their situation. One specific approach may be successful in one situation and not in another.

Principle 4: Continue to expect completion of remediation before the start of the second year
Principle 5: Reconsider the redirection to community college of students who don’t complete remediation after one year

Clarification. While this principle is laudable, it conflicts with Principle 4. However, the report does suggest the consideration of alternatives for those students needing additional time that would keep them connected to their respective CSU campus. Alternatives to redirection should be considered.

Principle 6: Wherever possible, offer degree credit-bearing work based on outcomes achieved

Clarification. “Nearly proficient” students must earn degree credit based on specific college course outcomes and not merely the supplemental work associated with these newly designed college level courses.

Principle 7: Use technology-assisted approaches where promising and feasible

Clarification. The appropriate translation of “promising and feasible” is not that technology-assisted approaches be feasible but merely promising. We need to determine the effectiveness of specific technology-assisted approaches before investing in any one approach. Technology, although feasible, may not be the best solution. Decisions about pedagogy and approach should be informed by results, not the promise of results.

Principle 8. Review and validate the various CSU assessments for placement in English and mathematics.

Clarification. This principle implies that the “various CSU assessments” are not reviewed and validated. This is not the case. Both the Entry Level Math (ELM) test and the English Placement Test (EPT) have been and continue to be validated professionally. In addition, both exams have widespread professional support from the CSU English and Math Councils. All proposed changes are reviewed and validated by the appropriate Councils before implementation.

RATIONALE: As indicated in the resolution, those faculty and staff engaged in remediation efforts on each of the campus (including those working in collaboration with the high schools as well as those involved in campus-based remediation efforts) possess valuable experience that should inform policy decisions. The extent of their understanding and experience is evidenced in the following feedback.

When asked to recommend improvements (independent of whether their recommendations would be feasible or within the purview of the CSU to implement), a number of these faculty and staff recommended the following:

a. Require college bound high school students fulfilling the a-g requirements to participate in the EAP test in their junior year.

b. Recommend that funding be identified and provided to engage a team of math faculty to develop a 12th grade course that would provide for the remediation of those students that failed the EAP version of the California Standards Test (CST). This objective would be to develop an applied problem oriented algebra course, including both curriculum and appropriate instructional methodology. In addition, this effort should include the development of training materials for those high school math teachers that would be teaching the course. The approach and intent would be similar to that used by the English Council in developing ERWC, work which spanned a two year period of time and included field testing.

c. Require provision for an additional CSU preparatory math course to be available for 12th grade students that fail the EAP version of the California Standards Test (CST). The typical secondary school student fulfills the math requirement by taking Algebra I in the 8th grade, Geometry in 9th grade, and Algebra II in 11th grade. This additional course would be an additional course that would be available to these students in the 12th grade.

d. Recommend collaboration between K-12 and the CSU to use diagnostic information to intervene in the early grades (the intent being to identify remediation needs at an earlier level).

e. In order to encourage and promote EAP participation, recommend the development of information materials and identification of venues for informing patents, counselors and school boards about EAP. In addition, consider the creation of workshops for high school teachers and principals, which would explain in detail the purpose and intent of EAP and the conditions necessary for its successful implementation.

f. Recommend involvement of principals and high school counselors to ensure that those students identified by EAP testing as needing remediation enroll in appropriate classes in their senior year.

g. Recommend that the high school’s EAP information plan include effective communication to parents (using “back to school nights” or similar parent participation events) about the purpose and intent of EAP testing and the importance of enrolling those students identified as needing remediation in appropriate courses during their senior year.

h. Recommend the CSU request state funding to allow campuses to establish early start remediation programs (such as summer bridge programs).

i. Recommend the CSU establish a system of periodic meetings to bring together Directors of developmental programs from the CSU campuses (e.g. learning skills, developmental math, and et al.) to assess progress and develop or adapt remediation programs, as needed.

j. Recommend the CSU establish a system of periodic meetings to bring together ESL/Bilingual teachers to address the unique needs of those non-native speaking students identified through EAP as needing remediation. This work might be included with the review and validation work with the group of Directors referenced in the previous recommendation.

Approved Unanimously January 17-18, 2008

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