The impact of the Florida state -mandated Basic Skills Exit Tests at Miami -Dade Community College

Joanne Bashford, Florida International University


The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of the Florida State-mandated Basic Skills Exit Tests (BSET) on the effectiveness of remedial instruction programs to adequately serve the academically underprepared student population. The primary research question concerned whether the introduction of the BSET has resulted in remedial completers who are better prepared for college-level coursework. This study consisted of an ex post facto research design to examine the impact of the BSET on student readiness for subsequent college-level coursework at Miami-Dade Community College. Two way analysis of variance was used to compare the performance of remedial and college-ready students before and after the introduction of the BSET requirement. Chi-square analysis was used to explore changes in the proportion of students completing and passing remedial courses. Finally, correlation analysis was used to explore the utility of the BSET in predicting subsequent college-level course performance. Differences based on subject area and race/ethnicity were explored. The introduction of the BSET did not improve the performance of remedial completers in subsequent college-level courses in any of the subject areas. The BSET did have a negative impact on the success rate of students in remedial reading and mathematics courses. There was a significant decrease in minority students' likelihood of passing remedial reading and mathematics courses after the BSET was introduced. The reliability of the BSET is unacceptably low for all subject areas, based on estimates derived from administrations at M-DCC. Nevertheless, there was a significant positive relationship between BSET score and grade point average in subsequent college-level courses. This relationship varied by subject area and ethnicity, with the BSET reading score having no relationship with subsequent course performance for Black non-Hispanic students. The BSET had no discernable positive effect on remedial student performance in subsequent college-level courses. In other words, the BSET has not enhanced the effectiveness of the remedial programs to prepare students for later coursework at M-DCC. The BSET had a negative impact on the progress and success of students in remedial reading and mathematics.

Subject Area

Educational evaluation|Community colleges

Recommended Citation

Bashford, Joanne, "The impact of the Florida state -mandated Basic Skills Exit Tests at Miami -Dade Community College" (2002). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3076641.