Trading “Social Promotion” for Certain Failure

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Sheila, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Interesting article.

    There are any number of reasons that can factor into students failing in school, but I can't help but to think that many of situations discussed in the following writing are caused by or contributed to by school districts' failure to comply with-early identification and intervention requirements.


    Trading “Social Promotion” for Certain Failure

    Dr. K. P. Loftus

    With the onset of NCLB, today's students are no longer "aged out" of their elementary schools, regardless of the inappropriateness of their continuing to languish with students 3 or more years younger than them.Current research examining Chicago Public Schools confirmed evidence that CPS's retention policy actually increases the likelihood that retained students will subsequently drop out of school. One study showed that in 1997, 16% of CPS eighth graders who were retained that year dropped out by the fall of 1998.Only 8% of eighth graders with comparable performance who were promoted in 1995 dropped out in 1996.Proportionally, therefore, twice as many students dropped out in the year after being retained than did similar students who had been "socially" promoted. This does not even account for the approximately 15% of retained 8th graders who failed to enroll in any high school whatsoever. There are several studies showing a strong correlation between dropping out of school and subsequent incarceration.

    As a result of the new mandates, countless 15- and 16-year olds are currently filling the seats of America's 6th, 7th and 8th grade classrooms, meant for 11, 12 and 13 year olds.These students will be at least 16 or 17 years old by the time they will be expected to begin high school.
    This can only mean they are being dealt a serious disservice by their schools who are more interested in making them "pay" for their past failures than in helping them find a way to succeed. These "overaged" students are primarily the ones committing the most discipline offenses, initiating the most fights, and cutting the most classes when compared to their age-appropriate counterparts.These behavior patterns then continue when they finally do get to high school, resulting in higher instances of school violence than ever before. They are discouraged, angry, and out for vengeance on a system they believe has already failed them. These students also pose a significant negative influence on their very impressionable 12- and 13-year old classmates, encouraging them to engage in fights, join gangs, and become sexually active.What parent anticipates their 12-year olds having to fend off the sexual advances or other influences from their 16-year old classmates in middle school?

    Allowing these credit-deficient students to begin attending high school with their same-aged peers as is legally required, even if they may have to remain there for an extra year in order to complete all unfinished 8th and 9th grade requirements.This is still better than demeaning and humiliating them, while dooming them to a lifetime of failure and virtually no chance for a successful adulthood.

    Published October 17, 2007
  2. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Thanks Sheila.

    Very interesting....just another reason to dislike NCLB and all its negative effects.

  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    To me, this article is representative of how little common sense is incorporated into some school district policies; like the one referred to in the article and just as importantently, the unwritten policies that some schools had/have pertinent to taking no action to intervene until a student is at least two years behind.

    This also seems another calculated way to push out students that are difficult to educate.

    I think NCLB may have some kinks that need to be worked out, but I support the NCLB law.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    They should offer special services instead of retention. How inane!!!