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Education Desk
The Education Desk is our education blog focusing on key areas of news coverage important to the state and its improvement. Evidence of public policy performance and impact will be reported and analyzed. We encourage you to engage in commenting and discussing the coverage of education from pre-natal to Higher Ed.Dusty Rhodes curates this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.About - Additional Education Coverage00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d385d0000

Education Desk: Illinois Remediation Rates On Par With National Numbers

Once you graduate from high school, you're ready for college. At least that's the theory. But the Illinois State Board of Education recently released data that shows for a significant number of students, that’s not the case. 

Using data from the statewide Class of 2013, the board determined that about 30 percent of graduates went on to community colleges. Of that 30 percent, about half had to take one or more remedial courses.

Karen Hunter Anderson, executive director of the Illinois Community Colleges Board, says that’s been true for a decade.

"That's pretty consistent with the numbers we've had in recent years. It's also consistent with national trends. So Illinois isn't any better or worse than most other states in terms of the number of students that require remediation,” she says.

She says Illinois participates in a program designed to boost graduation rates, and ranks fairly high.

"We also align our rates with Complete College America, and of the 27 states that participate in this data collection, Illinois has the 8th lowest rate, so that's not that bad,” she says.

The state school board is working to collect similar data for grads who chose four-year colleges in Illinois.

Remedial courses, also known as "developmental education," cost students time and tuition, but don’t count for credit. Each college sets its own standards for determining whether a student needs remedial courses. Typical factors include high school grades, standardized test scores, and a screening test.

The board used data from the Class of 2013, matched with data from the Illinois Community College Board.


After a long career in newspapers (Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News, Anchorage Daily News, Illinois Times), Dusty returned to school to get a master's degree in multimedia journalism. She began work as Education Desk reporter at NPR Illinois in September 2014.
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