Recent high school grads struggle in basic college courses, enroll in developmental learning programs - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Recent high school grads struggle in basic college courses, enroll in developmental learning programs

By Sarah Seeley
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Even though students are passing the TAKS test, many are realizing they may not be ready for college courses.

Meagan Zamora just graduated from Tascosa High School and has enrolled at Amarillo College.

But her placement test was just one point short of the minimum for registering for her entry level classes.

"I could have went and kept trying to pass it, and I only needed one point," said Zamora.  "But I felt like if I kept taking it and I would have passed it, it would have just been because I got it on luck.  So I decided to take this so I would actually know what I'm doing."

She is using the ACcess learning program to bridge that gap between classes.

One center instructor says the high school's emphasis on the TAKS test maybe the reason for students struggles.

"We've definitely seen a big discrepancy between students who have passed the TAKS and have done horrible on the Accuplacer or THEA test or the complete opposite," said Jenna Marion, ACcess math instructor.

The Texas Education Agency says if educators will teach the state curriculum, the TAKS test will take care of itself.

The TEA Statement:

  • The Texas Education Agency constantly encourages educators to teach the state curriculum and discourages them from "teaching to the test," although we know that happens. If educators teach the curriculum at the breadth and depth it was intended, students will pass the TAKS test.  We don't encourage or condone the narrowing of the curriculum.

But many students are still falling behind and needing the developmental courses.

"Unfortunately the system is designed that way," said Judy Johnson, ACcess Chair.  "There is a gap between the high school and college level and so we try to fill that gap."

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