For Immediate Release 25 January 2001
Regents Receive Report Card on Freshmen
PIERREOne policy challenge for South Dakota is to increase preparation of high school graduates entering the state universities as freshmen, according to a report given to the South Dakota Board of Regents today at its regular business meeting in Pierre. The Regents received an assessment of the placement of the South Dakota 1999 high school graduates who entered the six Regental universities in the Fall 1999.
The Regents were told that 19 percent of the Fall 1999 South Dakota high school graduates enrolling as freshmen at one of the six state universities enrolled in remedial mathematics or remedial English because they were not prepared to do university level work in those subjects. "We know that taking the more demanding courses in high school positively impacts a students ACT score and readiness for college," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "That is why the Regents support the State Board of Educations change in high school graduation requirements. Right now a South Dakota high school student can graduate with only 2 years of math or 2 years of science. The new rule will require those entering ninth grade in Fall 2001 to earn another math or laboratory science unit. By the time these students are ready for college their performance should boost South Dakotas grade on the report card."
Regents Senior Administrator Lesta V. Turchen told the Regents that the composite ACT scores for those enrolled in remedial courses were lower than the scores of those enrolled in general education college-level courses. "Among those seeking a 4-year degree, the composite ACT score for students enrolled in remedial courses was 19.2 while the composite score for those doing college-level work was 22.7," said Turchen. "The message for students is that if they want a college education they need to understand the importance of taking the college prep courses in high school. In fact, they should start with algebra in eighth grade. Parents and school districts need to understand that too."
"We tend to improve those things that we track and measure," said Perry. "The Regents started the high school feedback report to provide information to high schools about their graduates. Preparing students for college must be a partnership among parents, schools, and universities. We have an opportunity to improve the education offered to South Dakota kids. We should take advantage of it and work together."
South Dakota High School Class of 1999
Fall 1999 ACT Composite Score and University GPA by Enrollment in Courses
Preparation of 1999 South Dakota High School Graduates
Source: ACT High School Profile Report Class of 1999
*Core Curriculum4 years of English, 3 years or more of math (Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, and Trigonometry, Calculus or other advanced math), 3 years or more of social sciences, and 3 years or more of natural sciences
For more information contact: Dr. Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director, and Dr. Lesta V. Turchen, Senior Administrator, (605) 773-3455.
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