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Social Promotion

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NEWS
May 8, 2001
Ronnie Polaneczky's column on "social promotion" (April 30) moved me deeply. The struggles endured by Pat Anderson to help her son, Zachary, wrenched my heart. Pat Anderson is a single air bubble in an ocean of indifference. Social promotion has become so commonplace, it barely warrants attention to some. What we refuse to fix now will haunt us in the future. "Social promotion" is the educational equivalent of buying on credit. Eventually, the bill will arrive, and when it does, all will share the cost, but none will be prepared to pay. THOMAS DONNELLY, Philadelphia Shawna Holts' letter (May 3)
NEWS
August 19, 1994
In simpler times, when a high school education was the ticket to a secure future, skipping a grade used to be reserved for the super-smart nerd types - kids who came to kindergarten reading at 4th-grade level. But this is a new day - and "skipping" has a whole new meaning that turns the very concept of public education on its head. As reported by Daily News reporter Yvette Ousley this week, children are being skipped to the next grade, even if - especially if - they have failed repeatedly at lower levels.
NEWS
February 10, 1998 | by Kevin Haney, Daily News Staff Writer
Students, parents, teachers and taxpayers will soon have a chance to grade the School District on its proposed changes in promotion and graduation requirements. The board yesterday approved a draft document that would end the current "social promotion" policy, which only allows a student to be held back once in the elementary grades, and doesn't include summer school. District officials are proposing the changes because of a dropout rate of nearly 50 percent at some high schools and complaints from businesses and colleges that Philadelphia public school graduates are poorly educated.
NEWS
June 21, 2009 | By Dan Hardy INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Educators are still debating the merits of social promotion, more than 25 years after a national study said the decision to pass should be based on what students have learned rather than their age. For decades, the education pendulum has swung back and forth between experts who say holding children back will lead to more dropouts and those who say it will foster academic mastery and future success. The National Commission on Excellence in Education's 1983 study, "A Nation at Risk," concluded that grade placement "should be guided by the academic progress of students and their instructional needs, rather than by rigid adherence to age. " As of 2005, 18 states required students to pass a test for at least one grade to be promoted, said Kathy Christie, chief of staff at the Education Commission of the States, which collects education research.
NEWS
February 28, 2005 | By Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters
Pennsylvania's public high schools graduate a higher percentage of students than the national average, according to a recent study we did for the New York-based Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. But not everyone is sharing equally in the quality of the state's schools. Pennsylvania has one of the largest gaps in the nation between the graduation rates of white and minority students. Nationwide, about 3 out of every 10 students drop out of high school. In Pennsylvania, about 8 out of every 10 students earn a sheepskin, ranking the state seventh in the nation overall.
NEWS
August 25, 1994
According to a Daily News article, students lacking even rudimentary skills are being promoted through the system - many skipping one or even two grades - presumably to keep them with their peers (in age only). It's called "social promotion," and it has to stop. How can we expect these children to grow up and become contributing members of society if we don't educate them? We decry high unemployment rates, but these children will be unable to complete job applications. We wring our hands over teen-age pregnancy, but these children will be unable to follow instructions on birth-control device packaging.
NEWS
February 8, 1999 | by Karl Alexander
President Clinton's call to end social promotion in his State of the Union address has made retention policy a front burner-issue. This is a healthy development in my view, but only if it encourages serious discussion of how best to meet the needs of children who are not achieving at acceptable levels. That requires getting beyond the stale "to retain or not" debate - it's too confining. With colleagues Doris Entwisle and Susan Dauber, in 1994 I published a book on the effects of grade retention ("On the Success of Failure," Cambridge University Press)
NEWS
March 28, 1996 | By Dale Mezzacappa, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
President Clinton yesterday urged states to set high standards not only for students but also for educators, rewarding the good teachers and removing the bad ones. Calling for an end to "social promotion," he said students should be tested at the end of elementary, middle and high school and not be allowed to graduate unless they pass. "The worst thing you can do," he said, "is send people all the way through school" and then hand them "a diploma they can't read. " Clinton's entreaties came near the end of the two-day National Education Summit, at which 41 governors promised that their states would develop, within two years, "internationally competitive" academic standards, new methods of assessment and ways to hold schools accountable for student achievement.
NEWS
January 20, 1999 | By Dale Mezzacappa, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
President Clinton proposed in his State of the Union address last night to use federal dollars to push states and school districts to reward educational results, enforce high academic standards, and adopt educational strategies that work. In seeking to impose federal priorities on states and local districts - as he has for the last several years - Clinton set up a conflict with Republicans and conservatives who believe states and localities should control educational policies. The Republican Congress this year opposed his proposal for voluntary national standards and national testing.
NEWS
February 8, 1999 | by Lorrie A. Shepard
Most Americans believe that grade retention is an effective means for raising academic achievement. They attribute educational problems to lax promotional standards. Thus, President Clinton received thunderous applause in his State of the Union address when he vowed to end social promotion. What most Americans don't know is that huge numbers of students are already being retained in grade without its bringing any improvement in achievement. According to a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, 20 percent of all students nationally have repeated at least one grade by the time they reach high school age. In large urban school districts, the rate is 50 percent or more.
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NEWS
December 13, 2012
WITH ALL THE talk of the fiscal cliff facing America, kudos to Gary Alexander, Pennsylvania's secretary of public welfare, for getting a national conversation started about what he calls the "welfare cliff. " The welfare cliff's effects can be seen when, for example, a single mom with two kids decides it's more financially sound to stay at a low-paying job rather than work toward a higher-paying position and lose government benefits. Alexander laid out in graphic form the concept that the single mom is better off staying at $29,000 per year, rather than accepting a job for $57,000 per year.
NEWS
August 25, 2012 | By Kathleen Nicholson Webber, For The Inquirer
In early 2009 Bridget McMullin went from 30 clients to five, and then eventually to none. After being in business for 12 years, the Haddonfield-based designer found herself with plenty of time to assess her marketing plan. With no advertising budget, she addressed what she could: revising her website and starting a blog, where she would write twice a week about anything from establishing a design budget to choosing a TV for over the fireplace. "That has been one of our most popular posts," McMullin, 39, said.
NEWS
June 21, 2009 | By Dan Hardy INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Educators are still debating the merits of social promotion, more than 25 years after a national study said the decision to pass should be based on what students have learned rather than their age. For decades, the education pendulum has swung back and forth between experts who say holding children back will lead to more dropouts and those who say it will foster academic mastery and future success. The National Commission on Excellence in Education's 1983 study, "A Nation at Risk," concluded that grade placement "should be guided by the academic progress of students and their instructional needs, rather than by rigid adherence to age. " As of 2005, 18 states required students to pass a test for at least one grade to be promoted, said Kathy Christie, chief of staff at the Education Commission of the States, which collects education research.
NEWS
June 21, 2009 | By Kristen A. Graham and Martha Woodall INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
The pressure to pass students - even those who rarely go to class or can't read - is pervasive in the Philadelphia School District, teachers around the city say. The push comes in memos, in meetings, and in talks about failure rates that are too high, the teachers say. It comes through mountains of paperwork and justification for failing any student. It comes in ways subtle and overt, according to more than a dozen teachers from nine of the city's 62 high schools. "We have to give fake grades," said a teacher at Mastbaum High in Kensington.
NEWS
February 6, 2007 | By ROBERT S. NIX
GIVEN THE emotional firestorm of criticism it generated from New York's Latino community even before its recent release, I can only guess that book-signing events for Herman Badillo's "One Nation, One Standard: An ex-liberal on how Hispanics can succeed just like other immigrant groups" will be, at the very least, exciting. For those unfamiliar with him, Badillo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, was the first Puerto Rican-born U.S. congressman, co-founder of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, borough president of the Bronx, deputy mayor of New York and chairman of the City University of New York.
NEWS
February 28, 2005 | By Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters
Pennsylvania's public high schools graduate a higher percentage of students than the national average, according to a recent study we did for the New York-based Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. But not everyone is sharing equally in the quality of the state's schools. Pennsylvania has one of the largest gaps in the nation between the graduation rates of white and minority students. Nationwide, about 3 out of every 10 students drop out of high school. In Pennsylvania, about 8 out of every 10 students earn a sheepskin, ranking the state seventh in the nation overall.
NEWS
March 2, 2003 | By Dale Mezzacappa INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
When Philadelphia schools opened in September, the district was embarking on what was billed as the most ambitious experiment in school privatization ever undertaken, with 45 schools turned over to outside managers. Teachers, students, principals and parents braced themselves for upheaval as three for-profit companies, two nonprofits, and two universities began the weighty task of remaking some of the system's most troubled schools. Six months into the school year, the biggest changes in day-to-day life in city schools have been brought about not by the outside managers, but by programs and policies initiated by Paul Vallas, the district's new chief executive.
NEWS
August 20, 2002 | MARK ALAN HUGHES
THE PHRASE "Nixon goes to China" is used to describe an event in which a leader plays against type, using his unassailable record on an issue to change course in a dramatic yet politically protected fashion. Nixon could go to Communist China and establish diplomatic relations because he had always been a staunch anti-communist. I once used the phrase to promote Mayor Street's blight thing. He was the perfect guy to fight blight because for two decades he ran blight central: Council's 5th district.
NEWS
March 15, 2002 | By LOUIS V. GERSTNER, JR
A VOCAL GROUP of parents and public school students in New York protested against new and much tougher state examinations last week by boycotting a statewide reading test. The latest demonstration and a smattering of others like it do not indicate a broad-based backlash against standardized testing - an essential part of the drive toward world-class standards in our public schools - or against the simple notion that we ought to be able to measure what our kids do or don't know in core academic areas.
NEWS
May 8, 2001
Ronnie Polaneczky's column on "social promotion" (April 30) moved me deeply. The struggles endured by Pat Anderson to help her son, Zachary, wrenched my heart. Pat Anderson is a single air bubble in an ocean of indifference. Social promotion has become so commonplace, it barely warrants attention to some. What we refuse to fix now will haunt us in the future. "Social promotion" is the educational equivalent of buying on credit. Eventually, the bill will arrive, and when it does, all will share the cost, but none will be prepared to pay. THOMAS DONNELLY, Philadelphia Shawna Holts' letter (May 3)
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