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One State’s Shakeup in Remedial Education Brings a Slew of Headaches

Enrollments in remedial courses dropped by half at many of Florida’s community and state colleges this fall, but not everyone is cheering. Just as many poorly prepared students are showing up, but thanks to a new state law, many are jumping straight into college-credit classes.

The optional-remediation law is forcing professors in college-level composition classes to spend time on basic sentence structure, while mathematics teachers who were ready to plunge into algebra are going over fractions. It’s also raising questions about how the dwindling number of students who do sign up for remedial classes here will perform when those catch-up lessons in math, reading, and writing are compressed, embedded into credit courses, or offered alongside them.