Assessing Basic Academic Skills in Higher Education: The Texas Approach

By Richard T. Alpert; William Phillip Gorth et al. | Go to book overview

A Generation of Failure: The Case for Testing and Remediation in Texas Higher Education

Recommendations of the Committee on Testing to the Coordinating Board of the Texas College and University System


Executive Summary

Every year more than 110,000 freshmen enter Texas public colleges and universities. Of these, at least 30,000 cannot read, communicate, or compute at levels needed to perform effectively in higher education. Some become college drop-outs--not because they lack the ability, but because they lack the skills. Others receive degrees without ever mastering basic skills. The tragedy is that we often do not know they are deficient until it is too late to help them. We do not know who they are or where they are. But we do know they represent a generation of failure in our educational system.

When our colleges and universities graduate thousands of students each year who cannot write a clear sentence or compute a simple mathematical problem, we have cast a shadow on the quality of our degrees and the integrity of our diplomas.

For ten months the Committee on Testing of the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System, studied the need for identifying and assisting students who are qualified to enter college but who lack the basic skills needed to perform effectively in all their courses.

____________________
The Coordinating Board of the Texas College and University System (later named the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board) published A Generation of Failure in July 1986.

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