In November 2004, the Council for Postsecondary Education required all public universities and KCTCS schools to place students with an ACT English score of 18 in a credit-bearing writing course, with an ACT mathematics score of 19 in guaranteeing a credit-bearing math assignment.
In November 2007, CPE amended its admissions regulation to specify that:
- Students would need an ACT reading score of 21 as well as the 18 in English and the 19 in mathematics.
- Students scoring below those levels would have to take either a non-credit developmental course or a credit-bearing course with "supplementary academic support, such as extra class sessions, additional labs, tutoring, and increased monitoring of students, beyond that usually associated with an entry-level course."
- Schools would have to provide those courses in a student's first semester.
- The new rules would go into effect in the fall of 2009.
- Students would only need a reading score of 20.
- Students scoring below the standards could spread their special course work over two semesters.
- The requirement for that coursework would go into effect in the fall of 2010.
to review the current systemwide public postsecondary placement policy in English and mathematics and, working with institutional representatives and KDE, to determine whether revisions are needed in those content standards.That raises the possibility that by the time the new placement policy goes into effect, every number, date, and timeline will have been replaced at least once, like the memorable tin woodsman Dorothy met on her way to visit the Wizard of Oz.
Is CPE heartless, to be changing the rules so often? Probably not.
Instead, the November 2007 decision may have been made without enough active discussion, meaning that too few brains contributed to figuring out what would be needed to make the changes work.
If so, I'm glad that CPE has the courage to give each element a new round of careful attention.