“City Reports Nearly Fivefold Increase in Students Repeating a Grade”

Carol’s Summary:

In New York City, the number of students required to repeat grades in  elementary and middle school multiplied by nearly five times this year due to the city’s broadened promotion policy.

Even more unfortunate is budget cuts have made it so there are no funds to put toward helping the 11,321 students who failed this year get back on track. The city has allowed for teachers to team-up and use 37 minutes of their allotted tutoring time each week to develop strategies for addressing student failures, along with assigning one intervention specialist for every 60 schools to develop a plan with the principal.

A spokesman for the Education Department said the city does not plan on changing the promotion policies even after seeing the rising numbers of student failures and budget cuts. He said they feel strongly about not promoting a student who is unprepared.

The promotion policy was passed in the 2003-04 school year, to make it so students who received a 1 on either the state math or English test were retained or given the chance to score better in summer school. Last year, state test scores were rising and the city had less than 1 percent, about 2,400 students, being retained.

Then, city officials decided the standards had been set too low and were raised in hopes of increasing college readiness. This summer, only 50 percent of students were promoted and less than three-quarters of third through eighth graders even attended.

Article: City Reports Nearly Fivefold Increase in Students Repeating a Grade

The number of New York City elementary and middle school students who failed to move on to the next grade skyrocketed this school year, as weak students faced a higher bar on state tests and the broadening of the city’s tough promotion policy.

Read the full article at: nytimes.com

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