Thursday, September 1, 2011

Push to End 'Social Promotion' Hits Obstacles in New Mexico

Push to End 'Social Promotion' Hits Obstacles in New Mexico

To me, ending social promotion is not an example of education reform. It is a mandate that students and schools improve without going far enough to provide the resources and ideas to make that happen. I recently saw a statistic that correlated high school drop outs with kids who had been retained in grades K-8. In some cases, multiple retentions may lead directly to a child dropping out of school. I think it is more likely that the same factors that led to a student being retained are at play in his/her decision to drop out. In any case, there's no way that I can see retention as a solution to low student performance.

In high school, it's possible that a student's apathy toward school causes her to fail and that retention might make that student reconsider the amount of effort she is putting toward school. Not in third grade. I don't think that retention would "scare" any third grader into finally trying to do well on his state test. No way.

So, while I hope that NM schools get better and social promotion becomes less necessary - I support Mary Jane Garcia (the "obstacle" in NM... according to the above article) and echo her doubts about ending social promotion.

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