TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Social promotion in schools
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Social promotion in schools

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
What is social promotion? This is promoting a child up to the next grade level not because they have retained any material but because the schools don't want to hurt the child social or psychological well-being by retaining them.

This is a growing problem and one have dealt with in my children's school system. At the end of my oldest son's 1st grade year I literally begged his teacher and his principal to retain him because he was not catching the material in class and did horrible. I begged them to just hold him because while he was young so that he could retain the material because passing him up was not doing him or the school any favors. They had every excuse in the book why not to retain him. The dozy was it would make the school look bad to retain him. In the end they passed him on anyways and we had a heck of a time with him and school in the second grade. To the point he failed most of his classes. We will not know until August if he was passed up to the 3rd grade or if they held him back.

This is a growing problem in a lot of schools now a days. Here is a few links on the subject.

http://www.ed.gov/pubs/socialpromotion/index.html
http://www.edletter.org/past/issues/...etention.shtml
http://www.sharingsuccess.org/code/socprom.html

My question to those here is do you agree with social promotion? Why or Why not?

I do not agree with social promotion. Primarily because in the end it really helps no one and the child are going to be the ones who suffer in the end. If a child is not retaining the material and failing over 50% of their classes why are they being passed up. The material does not get easier as the years go by. They get harder and especially so if the child has not picked up on the basics.
post #2 of 22
I strongly disagree with social promotion, for the exact reasons that you mentioned.

Learning effectively is like building a house. You absolutely need a solid foundation, because future study material is based upon current study material, particularly when it comes to mathematics. If the foundation is shaky, you're not going to wind up with a very sturdy house.

Good for you for wanting to do what is best for your child in the long run, even if it has unpleasant consequences right now.
post #3 of 22
I agree with you Ping, I do not believe in social promotion. It is idiotic.
I would think they would want what is best for the child, I guess not.

If they wouldn't do what you wanted and keep him back, could you have taken it to a higher authority like the school board or something? I think it is awful.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
I probably could have at the time. But way to much time has gone by now.

Social promotion should not ever be a blip on the school radar. Either you know and retain the material taught and pass or you don't and fail. There should be no lets pass him up because of his peers.

I was held back in kindergarten because my speech was very bad. Even with special ed and speech I did not improve. So I was held back and no one picked on me then or now because of it. (note I still have a hard with sounds such as r and w). I also failed 10th grade and was held back (this was just before I became pregnant and quit) and no one teased me because I failed and had to repeat. This was in 85-86 and 96-97.
post #5 of 22
I absolutely agree that social promotion is one of the worst things that ever happed in school systems. It used to be either you put your little butt in summer school or you repeated the grade. So who cares if they get their little feelings hurt by not being allowed to have another year of up with their little heathen buddies, who should probably also be held back, or in some cases kids that just have struggled with the material, and not gotten it. It sounds like your system has some weird date qualifications like mine did. I missed getting into 1st grade by 2 days and had to wait another year.
I hope they can do something for you.

0,who should probably be right there with them anyway) or in some cases, have struggled with the material and just could not get it.
post #6 of 22
Social promotion is a disservice to the child, to the school system, to the child's family, and to the country. I can't see any possible reason for it, because even as far as the stated reason - not to harm the child's social development or self-esteem - is questionable at best, and probably totally incorrect. A kid knows when he didn't make the grade and when he's getting a free pass, and so then he learns the wrong thing. He'll be one of those who never get anywhere in life and blame everyone else for it.
post #7 of 22
I agree...social promotion is NOT a good idea.

However, I think my school system growing up had the opposite problem..holding too many kids back.

I was *almost* held back in kindergarten because I said "taters and maters" and when asked what one did with a television, I said "Turn it!" (I grew up in a house where Dad ruled the TV, and he was a channel flipper...so, we did less watching than turning. )

Anyway, my mom had a conference, I wasn't held back, and I was 4th in my graduating class, and had no problems in school.

My cousins, however, were both held back in kindergarten, and one (M) was placed in a half-class (between 1st and 2nd grade), so she was two years behind me, but two weeks older (her older sister was in my grade). M was able to retain the knowledge, but I don't think she was given the right chance to show she could move up.
post #8 of 22
I am not a teacher but I work in a school.
I, personally, do not like the idea of social promotions because I am a firm believer in building blocks learning.

Our school is one of the top academic schools in the state and has been that way forever - well, it was tops before I started there in 1994.
We have held a few kids back, but there have also been a few social promotions. Most of the social promotions were based on the student going to summer school and passing. they were limited to kids struggling in one or two areas only. And the kids had to have been going to tutoring and showing progress from the beginning of the year.
Kids showing no growth will either be held back or tested for special ed (if they are doing the best they can do....). Kids with attendence issues that aren't health related will be held back.
There are committee meeting on whether to hold a child back - parents, teachers from the current and future grade levels discuss what has been done, the concerns, the pros and cons. A decision is made in the best interest of the child, even if everyone doesnt agree. As a staff member, I was surprised at how clueless some parents were on the abilities/behavior of their children - some had no idea that their kids were at risk for failing.
But, I've also learned that the teachers are very good at identifying the strengths and weakness of a child compared to the other kids in their class. That can not be over-valued! If the child is just barely behind is entirely different from a child who is way behind.

Another consideration is the age of the child compared to the other kids in their class. My oldest child, my experimental child, was one of the oldest kids in his class due to his October birthday just missing the cutoff. He enjoyed being one of the older kids and driving before his friends. My second child, with his late August birthday, started a year later as he wasn't mature enough. My daughter, a late August birthday, was always the youngest in her class. She was ready, having had older siblings to help prepare her. The two younger kids benefited from the things I learned with my oldest. And they did okay - the oldest and youngest are working on their Masters and the middle child has two Bachelors. Just treat each child individually.

Our school staff always quotes the stats on kids who were held back - and I wish I had them and their source. No matter the age the child was held back, they have a much higher chance of dropping out than a child who was never held back. The older the child is when held back, the higher the risk for that child becoming a dropout. And that doesn't mean every child who is held back will dropout.
I would love to see some stats on where a child who is held back falls academically for the rest of their public education. IOW, do they rise in the classroom, stay the same or continue to struggle. That would be the most valuable info, IMO.
post #9 of 22
There was a time where they would skip kids ahead or hold them back way too often. Most schools anymore will not skip kids ahead solely because of academic ability, and most won't hold them back either. Good teachers know how to teach all their kids successfully, not just the "average" ones, and most students who really can't get it need special services to help them outside the mainstream classroom.

Does your son have any sort of learning disability or other problem that is making you think he needs to be kept back? As for the school being worried about looking bad for retaining him, you can thank NCLB for that. Their funding can get cut over things like that.

But no, I don't think students should go on to the next grade simply because they will be older than their classmates.
post #10 of 22
Z. I'm so happy we agree on something.
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post

Does your son have any sort of learning disability or other problem that is making you think he needs to be kept back? As for the school being worried about looking bad for retaining him, you can thank NCLB for that. Their funding can get cut over things like that.
In first grade we had him tested in school for additional services. He tested just a few points above the level to get any help but low enough that he was not retaining anything. I have tried for much of the second grade to get him tested but they always argued we just did that last year. Come first of this coming school year regardless of grade level he will be tested again. 2 of my kids do have developmental delays and learning disabilities. So it stands to reason that he probably does to but they are just missing it somehow.

Lets put it this way my 6 year old and tell time on a arm clock but my 8 year old can't.
post #12 of 22
social promotion for reasons of self-esteem, etc. is a bogus practice. if the child has a chance of learning the material w/another year, then we should give him/her that year. if the child has normal intelligence, s/he knows that s/he is not getting it - & social promotion has ill effects, especially once the child reaches the teen years.
in our school, the fight is more that the school recommends retention & the parents don't want it, not the other way around.
in my state, children can be retained ONCE ONLY during the elementary years, & then again in high school [if needed, of course]. some schools are choosing not to retain because it's felt that it may be needed later on down the line.
then, of course, we have the state tests, starting in 3rd grade - if the child doesn't pass, s/he is retained. not sure how that works if they've already been retained earlier on.
as many of you know, i am a special ed teacher. all of the above does not apply to children identified as having a learning disability, or other cognitive issues... whether or not those children progress to the next grade level is addressed in the ARD meeting.


ETA: btw - i didn't learn to tell time on an analog clock until i was 21. i'm still not very good at it @ age 50.
post #13 of 22
Ping, the Federal laws on qualifying for Special Ed are very specific.
The same type of test can only be given to a child once every 12 months, for fear that the child will remember parts of it and skew the results. Most school districts only purchase a set of tests from one source, not multiple sources.

Does your child have any health issues that could be impacting his ability to learn? For instance, glasses don't qualify, but severe asthma that keeps the child out of school for days at a time might. It's called Other Health Impaired (OHI). It requires a physician to verify the "medical conition."
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom of 4 View Post
Does your child have any health issues that could be impacting his ability to learn? For instance, glasses don't qualify, but severe asthma that keeps the child out of school for days at a time might. It's called Other Health Impaired (OHI). It requires a physician to verify the "medical condition."
we have several kids who qualified OHI because they have ADD/ADHD. you aren't required to medicate the child, just has to be diagnosed w/the condition & have a physician say it impacts his/her ability in school.
altho, we have re-tested DNQ [did not qualify] kids w/in the 3 years, it's unusual. this probably varies from state to state - i know it does from district to district.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Either he has some learning disability that is causing him not to retain the material. Or its the teachers and the way they are teaching the material. I personally believe its a combo of the 2. Here is why I say that. About 4 years ago when my younger sister was getting ready to graduate they had to take a test to see if they retained the material to be able to graduate. About 1/2 her graduating class failed that test. What the school did was put all these kids in a summer class and taught the (or should I say had them memorize) just what was on that test so they would graduate. IMO that says there is something wrong with the way kids are being taught when that many kids can not pass th test so they can graduate.
post #16 of 22
Or the test and what is taught are not the same.
Our state has required material for each grade level. They leave it up to the districts to set the actual curriculium and order. That does hurt us when kids move often - they may be taught something multiple times and something not all unless a teacher realizes it.

Have you talked to the doctor about the school issues? They can really be helpful. Scottish Rite Hospitals are great about testing - and free. There are also some private clinics who do the testing, but it can be very expensive and isn't usually covered by insurance. And schools are not required to accept their results.

Some school districts don't volunteer imformation about options or aggressively try to rule out problems. Because it is very expensive. Our district has become a premier provider of Sp Ed services - people actually move here, expensive as it is, because of the available services.
post #17 of 22
I could understand doing this if the child was in 5th or 7th grade and was only behind in one or two subjects. That probably would cause stress and negative self image because friendships have already be developed, but for a first grader, I think that is stupid.

My cousin was held back another year in kindergarten, and although they don't teach much at that level she still wasn't getting it. Her social skills were also behind the other kids. So, she went back the next year and did a lot better. She was just developmently behind kids her own age. And, it didn't hurt her at all...she just thought she had a whole new group of kids to play with. I don't see where it would have been all that different for a first grader.

I think they did your son a disservice. If he didn't grasp what was being taught in first grade, and had problems in second grade things are going to get any better. Does the school have a tutoring program he can get in to? If not, is there a college nearby? If so, you may want to see if a education major would be willing to make a few bucks on the side getting him caught up on the basics.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
If not, is there a college nearby? If so, you may want to see if a education major would be willing to make a few bucks on the side getting him caught up on the basics.
i've been teaching for over 13 years, & i'll still do tutoring. too bad i don't live closer [or vice-versa]... i'd even give a fellow TCSer a discount rate!
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
i've been teaching for over 13 years, & i'll still do tutoring. too bad i don't live closer [or vice-versa]... i'd even give a fellow TCSer a discount rate!
That is very sweet of you. I would take you up on it. My daughter is switching schools next year to a very rigorous academic program. It is a private school. She is advanced in language, reading and writing but is behind in math. She is going to the 4th grade.
This summer is going to be all about catching up to the standards of her new school. She can do it but she had teachers that let her get away with avoiding her least favorite subject.
post #20 of 22
I think it is something that should be avoided... I was held back twice , first time was in first grade ( I was the second YOUNGEST in that class ) I just was not ready for school who says all 6 yr olds are ready :rollseyes:.... second time was in fifth grade my MOTHER held me back for social reasons .... the first time I hated all involved but the second time I was grateful for a bit more time( ps GPA for 5th grade was 2.8 so I was not failing just not thriving , second time and a more intense school 3.9 gpa)
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post
My cousin was held back another year in kindergarten, and although they don't teach much at that level she still wasn't getting it. Her social skills were also behind the other kids. So, she went back the next year and did a lot better. She was just developmently behind kids her own age. And, it didn't hurt her at all...she just thought she had a whole new group of kids to play with. I don't see where it would have been all that different for a first grader.
You would be amazed at what they teach in KN now. Our kids have a list of 100 items to master in KN. One item is recognition of the alphabet, upper and lower case, produce the correct sound and write the letter, upper and lower case. By the end of KN, they are expected to write a story of two or three sentences (creative spelling is acceptable). They learn to read and write numbers, count to over 100, and count by 5s and 10s. Can you imagine getting a group of 20 kids, with different abilities, to do all of this and more? And enjoy school! KN teachers are amazing.

In some states, TX and OK for sure, KN is considered optional. Once enrolled, they do have to follow the policies for their state and district. I know that retention of KN students used to not count against the schools nor count as the retention in elementary school. Rues change every year, so I'm not possitive that still stands.

We encourage our students to particpate in summer school programs even in elementary. We have ones for gifted students, for fun, for academic catch up and for our autistic kids so they don't lose skills over the summer. A quarter of our students participated this year.
post #22 of 22
Social promotion is wrong. Just because the student is embarrassed to be held back should not be an issue. If the student does not understand the material then they should be held back. But retention, for some kids, just does not work, especially in middle and high schools. We had 2 kids who were repeaters and they did not do any better the 2nd time around.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Social promotion in schools