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Report Shows Public Schools Succeed In Preparing Students For College

Maine ranks above New England states in students seeking remedial work

A report just released by the University of Maine System shows Maine is well below the New England average when it comes to the percentage of students needing remedial work in reading and math.

The report shows only 12% of high school students who entered the University System as freshman in September of 2012 needed remedial work in those core areas, as opposed to the New England average of 24% - 39%, depending on the type of institution. 

“This proves our public schools are succeeding and we should continue to invest in a system we know produces positive results.  Our educators are working hard to put students and their academic needs first.  This report proves their hard work pays off and Maine students are receiving a great public school education,” said Lois Kilby-Chesley, teacher and President of the Maine Education Association.

The report also outlines the need for remedial coursework for students entering the Community College System.  In this system, 50% of students require remediation.  The Maine Education Association believes the need for providing remediation to our students who fall below levels of expected progress is essential before they enter community college.

“Waiting until a student enters the Community College System to provide this remediation puts students at risk for success as they move into higher education.  It is imperative that public school funding be provided to facilitate and assure that all Maine’s students attend a great public school and receive the necessary support,” added Kilby-Chesley.

To help prepare students for college, a so-called “bridge-year” approach is being used to help high school students.  The program, being piloted in Hermon, brings together the University System, the Community College System, public high schools and Career and Technical Education schools as partners to allow juniors and seniors to take college-level work for credit.

“The bridge-year approach shows promise. However, it may not be needed if our public schools receive adequate funding.  If and when this happens we can expect that all students are graduating with the skills necessary to succeed in college and the work force,” added Kilby-Chesley.

Both the University and Community College System were required by a law passed in 2011 to submit their reports on remedial education to the Legislature. Those reports will be updated annually.

Read more about the report from the Portland Press Herald: Maine students ahead of nation in college readiness

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