Sen. Alfond introduces measure to support high schools graduating students that need remedial help.
AUGUSTA – A bill aimed at reducing the number of students who need remedial coursework in higher education was introduced at a public hearing in the state’s Education & Cultural Affairs Committee yesterday.
“When a graduate of a Maine high school needs remedial coursework at the post-secondary level, it means we’re not getting the job done in high school. It’s time we start supporting high schools with high remedial rates.” said State Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland, the sponsor of the measure. “There is no way to sugar coat the urgency around remedial education. It’s time to act.”
In 2011, the Legislature passed a bill that required the University of Maine System, the Community College System and Maine Maritime Academy to report the number of students enrolled in remedial English and Math courses, and which high school they matriculated from. The goal was to identify which high schools were consistently graduating students that need remedial coursework, and then work to help those schools improve.
The bill, LD 1033, “An Act To Stabilize the Faculty and Programs at the University of Southern Maine,” is currently a concept draft. The first part of the bill will help put the data collected into better context by incorporating the information into the DOE Data Warehouse. The second part of the bill would establish a pilot program at three schools with high remedial rates willing to participate in the fall of 2015.
During his public testimony, Senator Alfond commented on the trends emerging from past reports. “While we only have a few years worth of data, the results so far are stunning. There are some schools where 15%-25% of their graduates that enroll in a University of Maine System School need remedial coursework.”
A work session for LD 1033, “Resolve, To Assist the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System To Reduce the Need for Remedial Education” will be scheduled in the coming weeks.