Tag Archives: social promotion

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 […]


Bruce Randolph Free to Enforce High Expectations, End Social Promotion

Denver’s Bruce Randolph School, which serves a challenging, high-poverty student population, is really working to change the culture from the ground up. The Rocky Mountain News‘ Nancy Mitchell reports that Bruce Randolph – led by Principal Kristin Waters – is putting a stop to social promotion. The school has signed contracts with the parents to ensure high expectations are kept and that students can avail themselves of needed interventions to help them make it to the next grade: Bruce Randolph’s part of the bargain was to closely monitor student achievement and to step in as soon as teachers saw a child struggling. So they launched tutoring Mondays and Wednesdays after school in the fall. They began Saturday school in October. They launched a week of intense remediation, which came to be known as “F-land,” in December. At the year’s midpoint, letters went home notifying parents if their children were facing retention. Letters went home again three-quarters of the way through the school year. In April, staff started weekly monitoring for failing grades. “All year long, we’ve talked to the parents,” Waters said. “And every time, parents have been supportive.” In May, teachers began calling homes to tell them the bad […]