Remediation - The Civil Rights Project at UCLA

Remediation as a Civil Rights Issue in the
California State University System
Kimberly R. King
Steve Teixeira
Suzanne McElvoy
California State University, Los Angeles
What is Remediation in College?
Coursework designed to develop college-level skills
in math and English
Many educators prefer the term “developmental
Incoming CSU students determined to need
remediation by scores on English and Math
Placement Tests
Provided by qualified faculty and staff.
Remediation as a Social Justice Remedy
“a remedy intended to restore
opportunity to those who otherwise
may be relegated to meager wages,
poor working conditions, and other
consequences of socioeconomic
- Bahr (2008), Center for the Study of Higher and
Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan
E.O. 1048
 Chancellor Reed Established a Mandatory Early Start
Program (MESP)
 Students “not proficient” are required to begin
remediation prior to enrolling as freshmen at a CSU
 If they don’t, they will not be permitted to enroll in the
Exceptions for “extraordinary circumstances”
The Context: CSU Budget Crisis
 $1 billion cut since 2002  $500 million more cut in
Governor Brown's 2011 proposal
 Student fees have skyrocketed 242% since 2002
 In 2008, Chancellor announced planned enrollment
cuts of at least 40,000 CSU-eligible students; 2011 plans
to cut 10,000 more
One way to cut enrollment and “improve” graduation rates
and is to push out students who may need longer to master
course material
The Merit Myth: Cut the “Undeserving”
The Reality: “Remedial” Students did not Fail to
Prepare for CSU
 Remedial students are the majority of all CSU
first-year entrants who meet all eligibility
requirements (58%) - over 30,000 students
 At some CSUs, they are 75-93% of 1st-time
 Their average H.S. GPAs are above 3.0
 CA Public k-12 spending/student is 47th in Nation
Some government leaders are failing, not our students!
Problems with Mandatory Early Start
 CSU already has successful remediation programs
– 80% remediate by the end of their first year
 CSU already has EO 665 (students must remediate
by end of 1st year)
 Unfair to Students
“Mandatory” - Forces some students to participate in extra
requirement, though they are fully qualified for CSU admission
Isn’t this a new Admissions Requirement??
Penalizes students who have already been cheated by education
Civil Rights issue - has more impact on students of color and
poorest students
UCLA CIVIL Rights Project
Research Question:
Do remediation policies and practices in the
CSU have a disparate effect on students of color
and students from low-income communities,
unfairly reducing their educational access and
retention, thus constituting a civil rights issue?
Remediation Need is Higher for
Underrepresented Students
 Higher among women, students of color,
low-income students of all colors
 Higher at CSU campuses serving:
 more African American & Mexican American
but number of White remedial students is large (2nd to
# of Mexican American students in CSU)
 more low-income students (i.e., Pell recipients)
Student Ethnicity
% Needing Remediation
 African American
 Mexican American
 Asian American
 European American
 All Freshmen
Ethnic % Freshmen 2009
High Remediation Need
 Dominguez Hills
 San Bernardino
Low Remediation Need
 San Luis Obispo
 San Diego
 Humboldt
 Los Angeles
Remedial Students more often Attended High
Needs High Schools
High Schools with:
 More poverty
 More African American + Latino students
 More English Language learners
 Fewer fully credentialed teachers
 Lower API rank (Academic Performance Index)
 High-Needs K-12 schools and their teachers and
students face inadequate funding and greater
Punitive Policies Unfairly Applied?
E0 665 and Disenrollment
 The higher the remedial need on a campus, the higher the
rate of disenrollment of remedial students
 The higher the proportion of African American and
Mexican American freshmen and the lower the proportion
of White students, the higher the rate of disenrollment
 CSU has refused to release data on ethnicity or gender, or
on remediation rates for Special Admits of disenrolled
students--> Why? What does the CSU Administration
have to hide?
Problems with Early Start
 Erects new barriers to college attendance for underrepresented
 Punishes students for California’s maintenance of race and class
inequality in K-12 schools
 Tries to balance the budget & “increase grad rates” by decreasing
access to the state’s poorest and brownest young people
 Student loss of summer employment salary
 Higher student fees if extended education summer school
 Puts extreme burden on CSU campuses serving poorest and most
ethnic minority students
 CSU’s New Mandatory Early Start Program
will disproportionately impact students of
color, low-income students, and women
because their remediation rate s are higher
than other students
University Level
 CSU should provide clear data on disenrollment by
ethnicity, gender, and special admit status
 Rather than replace a successful program that is effective
for over 80% of students, CSU could consider an “Early
Warning” program for students who don’t pass their first
remedial course in Fall quarter to increase retention and
prevent disenrollment.
 CSU should convene conference to address campus
disparities in remediation, proficiency and disenrollment
rates and examine best practices
University Level
 CSU should provide supplemental funding to high
remediation need CSUs
 The CSU Chancellor and Board of Trustees need to
use their influence to organize and lobby for full
funding for the CSU
 In the meantime, don’t balance the budget by
perpetuating inequality by decreasing access to the
state’s poorest and brownest young people