"Improving Placement Accuracy in California’s Community Colleges Using Multiple Measure of High School Achievement"
American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting
Theme: Leveraging Educational Research in a “Post-Truth” Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence
April 5-9, 2019
Title: Improving Placement Accuracy in California’s Community Colleges Using Multiple Measure of High School Achievement (Paper)
Session: Charting Trajectories for College Success
Authors: Peter Riley Bahr, Loris Ragioli, John Hetts, Craig Hayward; Terence Willett, Daniel Lamoree; Mallory Angeli Newell, Ken Sorey, Rachel Baker
Abstract: Standardized placement tests remain the primary means by which community colleges assess new students’ college readiness. However, evidence indicates that placement tests tend to underestimate students’ likelihood of succeeding in college-level coursework, resulting in students being misplaced in developmental coursework, slowing their progress and increasing their likelihood of dropping out. Here, we discuss the results of a statewide study to improve the accuracy of student placement in math and English in community colleges. We apply decision tree methods to identify key measures of high school achievement that predict performance in nine levels of community college math courses and four levels of English courses. Drawing on our findings, we develop rule sets that colleges can apply directly in their placement processes.