Florida Colleges Make Plans for Students to Opt Out of Remedial Work

Some Florida Colleges Plan for New Choice for Remedial Education: Opting Out 1

David Massey for The Chronicle

Jerry Shawver helps a student in Florida State College at Jacksonville's math lab. He wants to show lawmakers "our success rates and dare them to shut us down."

New students who show up here at Florida State College at Jacksonville have to take placement tests in mathematics, English, and reading. About 70 percent end up in one or more remedial courses. For now, at least.

State lawmakers voted in May to make such courses, which some see as obstacles to progress, optional for most students. Starting next year, recent high-school graduates and active-duty military members in Florida will have the choice of whether to take the courses or even