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UW-Stout releases correct remedial math figures

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New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

A software glitch caused an error in the reporting of the number students requiring remedial math at the University of Wisconsin Stout.

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Stout officials say instead of the 54.6 percent figure released in the recent Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report the correct figure is just 8.2 percent.

In a release Stout officials say that the university regularly submits records to UW System for storage in a data warehouse, from which the originally reported statistic was drawn.

In the data submitted to UW System, a computer programming error incorrectly classified the need for math remediation for UW-Stout students.

UW-Stout writes the program that utilizes math placement test data to determine whether a student requires math remediation.

The math placement test, which is standard statewide, was changed in 2002, and the corresponding computer program for data transmission to UW System was not updated. The proper formula was used to place students into classes on the UW-Stout campus.

The actual percentage of UW-Stout students placed into remedial math courses each year is typically 10 percent or under, said Jeanne Foley, director of the Math Teaching and Learning Center. The 2005 statistic is 4.5 percent.

She also pointed out that in 2005, three times as many UW-Stout students placed in the highest level of math courses (calculus or above) as those who placed in remedial courses, according to Foley.

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