75% of Oregon HS graduates need remediation

Jul 8, 2023 | Lake Oswego

The Oregonian recently ran this article regarding a new way that some Oregon Community Colleges are helping students who are not prepared for college. It sounds like a great success story, and we applaud our Community Colleges for trying to be innovative and adapt to modern students.

But what lurks under the surface of this feelgood story is the rest of the iceberg that is not being addressed: Why are Oregon kids so drastically ill-prepared for life beyond High School? Here at Mathnasium, we can't solve this huge cultural dilemma for the entire state - however, we CAN be instrumental in improving those outcomes for you and your family, one student at a time.

Now, you may be thinking "wow, Covid-19 really did a number on our education system". But this isn't a new problem - check out this article from 2015 which shows that 75% of Oregon High school graduates have to take remedial courses just to catch up at community college. That's nearly 5 years before most of us knew anything about Covid-19.

You'll note that within that article it's stated that the issue is primarily with Mathematics. It should also be noted that this phenomenon isn't isolated to just community colleges; you'll find similar patterns at all post-high school instiutitions, including Ivy League and trade schools.

This isn't a new problem; Oregon has been stumbling down this path for a long long time.

We know from the most recent testing that only 47% of Oregon students are "proficient" at grade level, but that's measured across ALL grade levels, from 1st to 12th grade. With roughly 63% of Oregon High School graduates going on to post-secondary instruction, and 75% of those needing remediation once they get there, these statistics suggest that only 15%-25% of Oregon High School graduates are actually somewhat proficent in Math.

It should also be noted that these college remediation courses are expensive; you're paying college tuition for non-college level courses that do nothing but prepare you for the next level course.

This tells us that about 80% of High School students don't have the skills they need to move beyond High School academically. Being just merely "proficient" isn't enough to improve those odds.

At Mathnasium we're fond of saying "Success in Math, Success for Life" but this is SO much more than just a slogan. If your child graduates with even moderately strong math skills, this very likely puts them in the 90th percentile when it comes to education. Is that an advantage? You bet it is!

And don't get us wrong - this isn't about success as in being "financially successful" (although it definitely helps with that too!); this is about our kids having the tools to make this world a better place, to drive innovation, to think critically and independently, and lead us into the latter half of this century toward the 22nd century.

The thing is, preparing for math success is a lot like saving for the future: the best time to start is right now. So our advice is this: Don't wait until High School - it'll be cheaper and faster to tackle any current issues your child is having with math, no matter how minor you think it is now, in Elementary or middle school; and if your child is already in high school, it's even more imperative that we get started right away.

Our solution? Contact us to schedule a free math assessment and we'll be happy to explain how we can help (pro tip: if you want us to do your child's homework for them, spoiler alert, we won't! And believe it or not, merely providing homework help is not the answer to future success - see us for details. So - they will need to be prepared to do the work). What we will do is to make it fun and engaging so that they will enjoy the experience and gain success in math well beyond what they've experienced before.

Not sure whether your child is keeping ahead of the curve? Schedule a free Math assessment with Mathnasium and we'll give you a comprehensive picture of where your child is currently, and a roadmap for helping them achieve their dreams and goals. Since it's free of cost and obligation, it's a great no-risk first step toward learning how to help your child succeed in Math!