College Success Report
In March 2017, Delaware released its 2017 College Success Report. Findings from the College Board's State Integrated Summary data from 2012 through 2015 helped to inform this report.
Equity in our school systems is a national concern. Data from Delaware’s College Success Report demonstrate that students of color, those from low-income families, students with special needs, and English-language learners are more than 1.5 times more likely to be placed in remedial classes compared to their peers.
Recommendations #1 and #2 show that as a state we need to do more to ensure students master the full grade-level standards and provide interventions when needed. In Recommendation #4, the data show that even when students are ready for college-level courses, access to these courses is not guaranteed. The lack of access affects students of color, those from low-income families, students with special needs, and English-language learners at even higher rates.
For example, 34 percent of African-American students received a B or higher in their 11th grade College Prep English course, just below the statewide average of 40%. As students transitioned to college, 54 percent of African-American students required remediation, compared to a statewide average of 41 percent. Similar comparisons can be made for students in other subgroups.
Grade inflation, advanced course access, and quality of instruction are possible reasons for this gap and must be examined. Districts and charters must create systems that ensure all students have access to the full grade-level standards in all courses. Similarly, students demonstrating the same level of content mastery and course grades should have equitable access to the most advanced courses available in their school to ensure all students are prepared for credit-bearing college courses.
For Educators and Policymakers
- How can Delaware educators design a system that meets the needs of all students and prepares them for college upon graduation?
- Talk with your student’s classroom teachers and school counselors to determine course selections each year. Is your child registered for the most rigorous courses possible?
- Work with your student’s classroom teachers to develop a personalized plan to address academic weaknesses in core classes: math, ELA, science and social studies. What supports and interventions are available to help them address these gaps?
- Seek to understand your student’s grades and what they mean. How can your student improve as he or she moves to the next grade level?