More than a third of Alabama high school graduates who attend college in-state must take remedial courses in their freshman year because they cannot do college-level work, an analysis of new data from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education shows.
According to The Birmingham News analysis, 34.4 percent of 2010 high school graduates who went on to Alabama's public two- and four-year colleges had to take at least one remedial course to bring their English or math skills up.
And for 223 of Alabama's 357 high schools -- including 40 of the 66 high schools in the Birmingham metro area -- the percentages of graduates needing remedial help in college are even higher than that. The number swells to more than 50 percent in many of Alabama's urban and rural areas, and exceeds 70 percent in some schools, data shows.
By that measure, the Birmingham city school district is among the worst-performing systems in the state. More than 50 percent of in-state college freshmen from six of the district's seven high schools had to take at least one remedial course in 2010.