I agree with what others have said about the differences between "remedial" and "developmental" and have quoted the definitions from NADE myself.  However, in Texas, lawmakers use the terms interchangeably to refer to the same thing, that being any coursework offered at institutions of higher education (senior or community college) which are below-college-level and carry no degree credit.  Defining below-college-level, although it could be an esoteric debate (Is begining swimming/dance, etc.  college-level or below-college-level?), is not since the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board describes PE courses (and others) as college-level and reading, writing, basic math (below college algebra) as below-college-level.

In the last legislative session in Texas, lawmakers changed a law requiring basic academic skills assessment, placement, advisement, remediation, and evaluation to require skills development (instead of remediation).  They did not mean any change in the programs, just a change of semantics that they were somehow convinced would be less offensive/objectionable.  This session a bill dealing with this issue refers to a program of developmental education.  That is not describing any new program, again just a change in semantics for the lawmakers.

Many developmental educators in Texas agreed that skills development (or developmental education) is a better term (less offensive/objectionable) to students, pedagogical/andragogical issues aside.  However, Martha Maxwell observed at CRLA in 1998 (I believe) that the term developmental is frequently used to describe individuals with developmental delays (or mental retardation).

Semantics and accurate, precise terminology are important to those of us in the field, but to the general public (as well as lawmakers and public policy pundits), it's all the same:  something that many of them think "doesn't belong in college because college is for an elite sector of the population who will eventually make new laws and new policies."

Gail Platt