Most high school graduates move on to postsecondary education; about a third require math, English remedial coursework

The Seattle Times reports on new data from the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The results are encouraging, if still below expectations.

Three out of five Washington state students who graduated in 2014 went on to college within one year, and of that group, about a third needed at least one remedial math or English course, according to data released Thursday by the state’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The state’s post-secondary enrollment numbers have remained steady since 2011. Those numbers include high-school graduates who attend two- or four-year colleges and universities, as well as apprenticeship or certificate programs, within one year of graduation.

As we’ve reported

By 2020, 70 percent of Washington jobs will require postsecondary education or training.

So the “three out of five” misses the mark. And the report on remedial education shows progress but continued underachievement..

Math remediation rates decreased by 5 percentage points from 2011 to 2014 and English remediation rates decreased by 3 percentage points from 2011 to 2014. 

We commend OSPI on its transparency and the useful tool on the website (remediation data here; postsecondary enrollment here). 

In our foundation report, we wrote, 

Of students who graduated from public high school in 2009-10 and enrolled in community and technical college in 2010-11, 57 percent enrolled in at least one pre-college (developmental or remedial) course — most often in math. These disappointing numbers must be foremost in policymakers’ minds as they consider important questions of education policy and funding.

It looks like we’re seeing progress. That’s good.