The U.S. community college course-placement system is a mess. That includes the many well-regarded two-year colleges in the Washington area.
You want to stop reading now, don’t you? My page-view totals and e-mail traffic indicate readers move on quickly — who’s Valerie Strauss going after today? — whenever they see the words “community college.”
In the Internet age, we writers must respect your choices. For many people, Harvard is a more intriguing subject than Howard Community College. But keep in mind that at this moment, nearly half of all U.S. undergraduates are attending community colleges. The fact that millions of those students are having trouble getting the courses they want is worthy of attention.
A few weeks ago, I told the story of Monica Dekany, a California mom who, because she failed a community college placement test, was forced to take remedial classes for courses in which she had earned credit elsewhere and, as officials eventually conceded, didn’t need. Susan Headden revealed this in a Washington Monthly exposé of the sorry state of remedial (the schools prefer “developmental”) education.