Evaluation of Tennessee Pre-College Remedial Math Programs

A Math Remediation Effort Boosted Students' College Credits. But Did Learning Improve?

October 29, 2018

CEPR's findings about the Tennessee SAILS math remediation program are examined in the following High School & Beyond blog post by Education Week. 

College remediation is a big, expensive deal.

More than two-thirds of students in two-year colleges take a remedial class at some point after enrolling, and about 40 percent of those in four-year courses do, too. The courses are costly for students who pay for them, especially since they don't get credits for taking them. And finally, advocates fiercely debate whether the classes do anything...

Read more about A Math Remediation Effort Boosted Students' College Credits. But Did Learning Improve?
(2015). Research Project Overview: The Study of Pre-College Math Remediation Programs in Tennessee . Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.Abstract

In an effort to promote college enrollment and degree completion, the state of Tennessee has invested a student-centric, technology-based blended learning model of high school mathematics instruction, The Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support (SAILS).

The SAILS program provides high school seniors likely to require math remediation in college with coursework equivalent to college-level developmental education classes. Eligible students who complete the program are able to satisfy math require-ments for high school graduation and, upon postsecondary matriculation, to enroll directly in credit-bearing coursework toward a college degree.

Researchers at the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University and Vanderbilt Peabody College of Education are partnering with the SAILS Program and Tennessee state leadership to conduct an evaluation of SAILS. Using a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the study will examine the impact of participation in SAILS on students’ short- and long-term outcomes and investigate the mechanisms by which the program may promote students’ postsecondary success.

Angela Boatman

Angela Boatman

Affiliated Researcher
Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Higher Education
Peabody College, Vanderbilt University