From the Los Angeles Times (2/22/04):|
While the debate about retention/social promotion is long-standing, it has heated up because of high stakes testing and concerns that kids are bearing the brunt of system failures. And, concern also has been voiced about the either-or nature of the debate which tends to ignore the importance of finding ways to provide the learning supports students need when they are not doing well at school.
Some of the debate hinges on mental health considerations. This is reflected in the New York situation where the Mayor notes:
Some would say this misrepresents the situation.
As many have cautioned over the years, if we just focus on raising standards, we will see increasing numbers who can't pass the test to get into the next grade and the elementary and middle school classrooms will bulge and the "push out" rates will surge.
A recent American Federation of Teachers' report estimates that between 15 and 19 percent of the nation's students are held back each year and as many as 50% of those in large urban schools are held back at least once.
It should also be noted that
Want to know more?
First, browse the Center Newsletter article entitled: Denying Social Promotion Obligates Schools to Do More to Address Barriers to Learning (fall, 1998).
Then, go to the Center website's Quick Find on "Social Promotion" (http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/qf/p1104_02.htm)
There you will find links to online documents on retention/social promotion such as
Also, see various Center documents on providing learning supports to address barriers to learning.
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