A year later, the astonishing results are in: Enrollment in remedial courses is down, and failure rates are up.
Hunter Boylan, director of the National Center for Developmental Education at Appalachian State University, said he's not certain what legislators expected would happen. “This isn't rocket science. If students don't have the skills to complete a college course and you let them take the course, there's a likelihood they'll fail the course,” he said. “What did they expect?”
I suspect that it's even worse than it looks. How many of this year's instructors do you suppose looked at their final gradebooks, and thought, I'd better curve the grades. I can't fail everybody.
The advantage of this approach, on the other hand, is undeniable. Unlike resource-intensive programs that actually work, handing at-risk students just enough rope is practically free.