Tag Archives: education reform strategies

Breaking the Law to Continue Social Promotion Doesn't Really Help Kids

Holding back kids who have failed, rather than just pass them on to the next grade and the next teacher, is an education policy that strikes a lot of people as good common sense. But, of course, good common sense does not prevail so often in large public education bureaucracies. Apparently, in some cases, following the law can be a problem for public education bureaucracies, too. The brilliant Jay Greene writes about Georgia school officials who flouted a law that required students to pass a test in order to move up to the next grade: In Clayton County 97 percent of students who failed the re-test to get promoted or simply didn’t take the re-test were promoted to the next grade. When asked about why these students were promoted, the District issued a statement that said, “the philosophy of prior administrators was to promote students who failed and provide them remediation.” Oh. I see. The law says that students unable to pass the state’s test ought to be retained but Clayton County school officials had a different philosophy. Their philosophy was that they don’t have to follow the law. Jay knows this is more than just a problem of disobeying […]