Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Parents group challenges school flunking policy

Group says policy is hurting minority students, wants it eliminated.

The group, Parents United for Responsible Education, is asking the U.S. Education Department to stop the Chicago Public School's practice of holding back students who fail to meet the cutoff score on state standardized tests.

PURE says the score is arbitrary and has hurt African-American and Hispanic students the most. It argues the practice of ending social promotions has accelerated the downward spiral of many affected students and led to an increase in the dropout rate

The group says 100,000 CPS students have had to repeat a grade since 1996 at a cost of $100 million a year. PURE says that money could be used for more support and individual learning plans for students.

A CPS spokesperson says PURE's data may be outdated. The spokesperson says CPS has made progress in providing students the resources they need to succeed.


walk of shame said...

If I understand correctly this group wants kids moved to the next grade when they don't meet the requirements?

Makes perfect sense...

Emerge Peoria said...

I will admit that I have seen students drop out when seperated from the group they came into school with.

By the time they get to high school if a person who is supposed to be a junior doesn't want to sit in classes with freshmen. It's embarrassing and many would rather just drop out because they think they are too grown for their group.

The PURE group feel that social promotion, along with intense attention to the areas in which the student failed may be the answer.

Brooke said...

There is essentially zero research to support grade retention, but a whole lot that demonstrates what a horrible idea it is.


Having a student repeat a grade is not an intervention. Addressing the specific reasons behind their academic difficulties is probably a more efficacious way to spend time and money.

Sharon Crews said...

Stopping the practice of retention means that grades should be eliminated--at least, F's.

How are such studies conducted? Obviouslly, the only people in the study would be those who were retained. If those students continue to fail, does retention have to be the cause of continued failure?

Emerge Peoria said...

Retention of older siblings impacts younger siblings greatly, especially if they are close in age. Within the family unit, retention of one child could be very disruptive.

The private school my daughter used to go to called it "the gift of another year" when they explained to students what happened to their classmates who didn't make it.

Brooke said...

Meta-analysis is probably one of the more common and useful ways of synthesizing the effectiveness of treatment outcomes, and there are a plethora of meta-analyses regarding the topic of grade retention. This technique analyzes a number of different studies that raise similar research questions. The meta-analyses that I have read on this topic have set strict guidelines, reflecting research designs that include only those studies which employed sound empirical research techniques. The end product is an effect size, which in this case, would reflect the effectiveness of intervention (grade retention) on the control (students at grade level) and experimental (retained students) groups. These types of studies are nice because they include studies employing the same research design that may have found very different results, and calculate the size of the overall effect. This method also removes the temptation of finding one poorly designed study in which to build a case.

Sharon Crews said...

I don't profess to know the answer to this problem. The concept of social promotion has been argued back and forth in District 150 throughout my whole career. The research probably deals with the lower grades. My own solution would be that a viable summer school should be available to bring students into compliance so that they can move to the next grade.
As for high school, by then there should be no social promotion (graduation) or grade inflation. However, ability grouping does result in different standards--basically, I have no objection to that as long as the graduation transcript reflects the differences in some way. (Special ed, basic, enriched, etc.)