Remediation rates at the nation's colleges are also under scrutiny. About 40 percent of high school graduates are required to take at least one remedial course before
enrolling in credit-bearing college coursework (Rothman, 2012), with the highest levels of remediation among minority students, English language learners, low-income students, and
older students who are returning to college later in life. This inequality is highest at community colleges, where more than half of entering students enroll in at least one
developmental course and less than one-fourth of those students earn credentials or complete degrees (Burdman, 2011, p.1).
Some are not convinced that remediation rates need to be as high as they are, citing evidence that poor screening tests overidentify students for remediation. A recent study
found that one in four students assigned to math remediation and one in three assigned to English remediation could have passed college-level courses in those subjects with a
grade of B or better (Scott-Clayton, 2012). Although early detection exams are designed to provide remediation before students begin to struggle, some argue that bogging down
students in remedial work may do more harm than good. Several states are addressing this by creating new tests to allow students to skip remediation or providing remedial courses
earlier in their educational career, during the senior year of high school. Connecticut has proposed eliminating remediation altogether, instead using placement tests to provide
"embedded supports" in college-level courses (Scott-Clayton, 2012).
High rates of remediation have led some to question whether colleges are admitting too many unprepared students. Proponents of remedial education argue that it is an issue of
equity because of the high numbers of English language learners and low-income and minority students enrolled in remediation. Without it, they say, these students would lose the
opportunity to go to college. Yet, others question whether remediation is a great disservice to these students, because so many who enroll in remedial courses fail to ever complete
a degree. According to Complete College America, fewer than 1 in 10 who start in remediation graduate community colleges within three years, and a little more than a third
complete bachelor's degrees in six years.