March 15th marks the 10th anniversary of NYC’s widely criticized, highly controversial adoption of a student promotion policy narrowly based on student performance on state exams.
For more insight on the incredibly wide coalition of educators and community members that opposed this Bloomberg Administration policy in 2004, see this letter written by the groups Class Size Matters and Advocates for Children.
Along with public school parents and educators, Change the Stakes urges the NYC Department of Education to adopt a new policy that puts student promotion decisions back in the hands of teachers and relies on a broad range of available information about student learning and growth (link to one pager).
We support a policy based on the following principles:
- Annual promotion should be the norm.
- Decisions about a child’s promotion to the next grade should be made by educators who know the child.
- Expectations should be developmentally appropriate.
- Promotion policies must be transparent and enlist parents as partners.
- Timely access to comprehensive support for students who are not performing at grade level must be ensured.
- Summer school must be an enriching experience that builds on student strengths and addresses areas in need of support – not a punishment for failure.