Reading Tests

Authored by: Rona F. Flippo , Jeanne Shay Schumm

Handbook of College Reading and Study Strategy Research

Print publication date:  July  2008
Online publication date:  August  2008

Print ISBN: 9780805860009
eBook ISBN: 9780203894941
Adobe ISBN: 9781135703738


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The accountability movement with its emphasis on standards-based school reform and high-stakes testing has permeated education at all levels in the United States (Popham, 2006; Valencia & Vallarreal, 2003). At the postsecondary level, the issue of remedial education has been described as "Politically contentious" (Attewell, Lavin, Domina, & Levey, 2006, p. 1) and "thorny" (Weiner, 2002, p. 1). Given the ever growing number of students needing remedial courses, the crux of the discussion at the postsecondary level is about balancing high academic standards with access to opportunity for a college education, particularly for minority students (Attewell, et al., 2006; Brothen & Wambach, 2004; Gumport & Bastedo, 2001; Haveman & Smeeding, 2006; Merisotis & Phipps, 2000; Perin, 2006). Despite critics from government, academia, and the general public who maintain that remedial reading courses at the college level are expensive and indicative of lower academic standards at the high school level (e.g., Alliance for Excellent Education, 2006; Arendale, 2003; Saxon & Boylan, 2001), most public and many private institutions of higher education continue to provide academic support for underprepared students to bridge the standards/access gap. In the most recent government survey of remedial education in postsecondary institutions, 96% of 2-year public, 37% of 2-year private, 49% of 4-year public, and 30% of 4-year private institutions offer at least one remedial reading course (U.S. Department of Education, 2004).

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