of new community college students enrolled in one or more remedial courses, a 7 percent increase from the 2007-08school year. (For school-level data, see the Appendix to this report.) According to one NCCCS ofcial, “Developmental education has been called a graveyard of dreams for many low-skilled students.”
It is not difcult to see why. Of the thousands of students required to enroll in a DevelopmentalEnglish, reading, or mathematics course, an average of 20 percent of them do not earn a “C” or better.
Pass rates forDevelopmental mathematics courses approached 75 percent. Fortunately, 2009 pass rates in these courses have re-mained at or below their 2007 levels.
Table 3. Pass Rates of Students in Developmental Courses
CommunityCollege Year Dev. English(Percent) Dev. Reading(Percent) Dev. Math(Percent)Total(Percent)
During this year’s state budget debate, Chairman of the State Board of Education Bill Harrison contended, “NorthCarolina’s system of education is not broken. In fact, North Carolina’s system of education is a model for states acrossthe country.”
He pointed to “years of steady increases” in North Carolina’s graduation rate, including “the highestlevel ever recorded in 2009-10, at 74.2 percent.” On the surface, North Carolina’s increasing graduation rate appearsto signal a systematic improvement in our public schools. But quantity is not the same as quality. As North Carolina’s
Table 1. Statewide Graduation and High School Graduates Who Enrolled in At Least OneDevelopmental Course at an NCCCS Institution
GraduationYear Denominator(9th Graders) Numerator(Graduates)Graduation RateCommunityCollege Year HS Grads Enrolled in NCCCS Dev. Course Percent of Total Grads in NCCCS Dev. Course
2008-09113,47181,42471.8%2009-1017,10221%2007-08108,85276,56170.3%2008-0915,86521%2006-07105,79973,55369.5%2007-0813,90219%Change, 2006-09+7,672+7,871+2.3%Change, 2007-10+3,200+2%
Table 2. High School Students Who Graduated, Enrolled in an NCCCS Institution,and Took Developmental Courses
CommunityCollegeYearTotalStudentCount Dev. EnglishStudents Dev. English(Percent) Dev. ReadingStudents Dev. Reading(Percent) Dev. MathStudents Dev. Math(Percent)One or More Dev. CoursesStudentsOne or More Dev. Courses(Percent)