New Toolkit Available for Reforming Assessment and Placement Policies at Colleges

The Center for the Analysis of Postsecondary Readiness (CAPR) recently published a new toolkit to help colleges reform their assessment and placement policies using multiple measures assessments, rather than rely solely on placement tests.

College students who place into developmental (remedial) education are substantially less likely to graduate than students who place into college-level courses. Most students are directed into developmental courses based on placement test scores. However, research shows that placement tests alone do not adequately determine which students need remediation, and that they misplace many students into developmental courses who could be successful in college-level courses in the subject. As a result, many students must spend time and money on courses that they do not need.

The recommendations in the CAPR toolkit are based on rigorous studies conducted over several years that determined that multiple measures assessment and placement is a better model than placement based on standardized tests alone. Giving students multiple ways to demonstrate their skills helps ensure that all students who are ready for college-level math and English courses have the opportunity to take them, which can make access to college-level courses more equitable.

CAPR is a partnership of the Community College Research Center and MDRC with support from the federal Institute of Education Sciences and Ascendium Education Group.