Who Needs Remedial Education? Research Finds GPA Is a Better Predictor Than Tests

A BETTER BAROMETER: Last week we heard of plummeting college readiness rates among Central Texas high school grads. This means more high school students are being placed into remedial math and English courses to get up to speed.

But a recent study of Alaska college students suggests that the SAT, ACT and other placement tests, which colleges typically use to determine who needs remedial education, might not be the best indicator of which students need to relearn high school math and English material. Instead, researchers found that GPA was a better predictor. “It’s likely that if you have a high GPA, even if you’re in an ‘easy’ class, you likely showed up and turned your homework in, and did things that are important for college readiness and success,” Michelle Hodara, lead author of the study and a senior researcher at Education Northwest, tells The Hechinger Report.

According to a paper released from The Century Foundation last week, students tend to be “under-placed” in remedial courses (they’re assigned to a remedial class when they could take the college-level one) more often than they’re “over-placed” (they’re directly placed into college course and fail).

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