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Back to Nov. Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 226 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS NOVEMBER 2004

Ending 'Social Promotion' Called Success
In NYC, Which Extends Plan to 5th Grade
Joel Klein 
Joel Klein
New York City school leaders, who weathered intense criticism months ago for holding back failing 3rd-graders, announced in September that the program was so successful that they plan to expand it to 5th grade.

The plan would make any 5th-graders scoring at the lowest of four levels on city tests repeat the grade unless they do better on the tests after summer school or a review of their classwork shows their skills are adequate for promotion.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised $20 million for programs to identify struggling 5th-graders early and to provide tutoring and other help outside of school hours.

The "summer success academy" held for 3rd-graders facing retention this past summer showed that aggressive intervention can boost students' skills enough to warrant promotion, the mayor and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein said in prepared remarks on September 9.

Of the 10,000-plus 3rd-graders who faced repeating a grade in June, more than 4,200 improved their test scores enough after the summer program to be promoted, and more than 2,500 were promoted after their classwork was reviewed. This left only 3,600 to repeat the grade, only slightly more than in 2003, before the new policy went into effect. (Education Week, 9-22-04)


 
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