In a collaborative effort between Puget Sound College & Career Network (PSCCN), the Community Center for Educational Results (CCER), and Highline College, we are excited to announce the release of a new report, Inequity by Design: How College Placement Policies Perpetuate Institutional Racism. This report is the culmination of a multi-year, three-study series exploration into the enrollment and placement policies of community and technical colleges (CTCs) in the Road Map Project region, and the subsequent impacts on high school graduates seeking to enter those institutions.
CTC assessment and placement processes are meant to predict the appropriate levels of math and English classes for entering students. Yet, all too often, the approach to placement can systematically and substantially underestimate student capacity, particularly among students of color. The design of current CTC assessment and placement policies, and the inconsistent implementation of policies from college to college, sort a disproportionate number of students of color into precollege courses. This report explores the underlying causes that systematically sort students of color in precollege courses, shares why our current system is not set up to address these challenges, and explores the reasons why a new paradigm is necessary to address systemic racial inequities in the educational system.