Johnny can't read because he's dumb as a post, but let's give him a diploma, anyway

This group of so-called educators wishes to advance students, even though they have failed core courses.

At this rate, the battle against ignorance will never be won. :rolleyes:

Ummm that’s not what your linked article said (since you’re referring to diplomas/graduating)

Whether this is a good policy or not is different than what your thread title suggests.

Well, y’know, we can’t have the little dears gettin’ discouraged, now. :rolleyes:

I agree with you, in that the Houston school district sucks. My kids haven’t attended a Houston ISD school and I intend to do what I can to keep it that way.

However, it did not say they would be able to graduate without finishing these classes. It just said they wouldn’t be held back a grade. They are sent to the next grade (mostly the 10th grade, from what the article says) but still required to take the class again. The rule that has been changed was only in place for one year.

FWIW the original piece (with more details) from the Chronc can be found here

See, that’s how it was done in my high school-you’d still be able to advance to 11th grade, say, but you’d have to keep taking 10th grade English.

Why make them repeat the entire grade? Just the class they failed. Hell, I failed pre-algebra my 10th grade year, and just took it again the next and passed.

That’s pretty much how it was at my school.

Basically you had 3 years to do all your courses to attain your diploma. You could take classes whenever, as long as you did them in order and got them done you graduated!

… and let’s not talk about college students who don’t know how to write a simple paper, or don’t know the difference between it’s and its or between their and there and they’re or…

I think this is related to which kids will be taking the TAKS. Most schools wanted students to pass the core subjects for each grade level in order to take the TAKS. I believe that this change will result in all students taking a grade level standardized test. School rating will be based on the results of these tests. If this gets approved, students that have failed core subjects will be sitting for the test. Schools are not excited about this. We discussed what would happen if the student fails the class, but passes the TAKS. That may be tough to justify to parents.

So, if I understand this correctly, HISD will be testing more of their students than some of these other disticts. Some may think this will mean more accountability, more scrutiny, etc.

Hey, so long as they bring in the sports dollars, there’s no problem in my book. For those that aren’t in sports programs, grade inflation, bell curves and the infamous weighted bell curve will help make sure that our guys (and gals) are weighted in a manner consistent with the other kids and not goals/levels that are required to function in. By the time they get into the job market, it won’t matter, because there will be off-shore call centers to pick up the slack.

There’s also a battle in Chicago over this issue of “socially promoting” elementary and junior high kids. These nitwits seem to think that it’s OK to promote kids. Apparently, the kids will still have to make up the work. At least Mayor Daley’s not putting up with any of that crap.

If you can’t get it together enough to pass 9th grade classes, how the heck are you gonna survive 10th grade classes?

As has already been mentioned, this isn’t going to result in kids graduating without passing classes they’re supposed to be required to pass, or taking the class next in sequence after the one they failed. If a kid’s core classes are English, math, science, and history, and the kid fails English but passes the other classes, the kid will be held back in English but will move on in math, science, and history. Even if this doesn’t improve graduation rates at all, kids will be moving on and learning more in the subjects in which they’re prepared to learn more. Please, explain why this is a bad idea.

Forget that, how are you going to survive college? I tutor students who were “socially promoted” (a practice it does not appear this program will be using), and … it’s a struggle to unteach them the erroneous things they picked up along the way (and, in some cases, are currently picking up from faculty who don’t teach properly) that have made learning various core concepts more difficult. That’s assuming they picked up much of anything; I have one student who was essentially tossed aside for most of her high school time and is now learning what she should have been taught 40 years ago; what she was told by her teachers (and more than one administrator) was that essentially she would never be able to do anything of academic merit (I’m rather displeased with the people responsible for this, but that’s another thread). Then there’s the issue of tossing the occasional “needs personal attention” student into ESL classes, and a myriad of other issues I’d talk about at great length but for the humongous hijack it would represent.

Social promotion is what allowed one of fizzy’s relatives to graduate from high school (he is illiterate), but it appears that the policy briefly outlined in this article merely indicates that, rather than keeping students back to take all the 9th or 10th grade classes again if they only fail one, they’ll stay in, say, 9th grade english and be taking 10th grade everything else. I went to high school with a guy who was “surprisingly” good at English (the general consensus at this place was that, since he lived on a farm, he was as dumb as a trough, but this guy had brains) but not as good at math (750 English SAT; 550 Math). The program outlined in the link in the OP would allow this guy to advance into 10th grade English while keeping him in 9th grade math, which seems to me to be a good idea.

The logic of this is that students who have been left back are more likely to drop out of school, and dropout rates are one of the things that schools are scored on in the state report cards. Schools are reconsidering assorted forms of social promotion to try to reduce their dropout rates.

IMHO social promotion lends credence to the mindset that you can perform in a substandard fashion, and that it is still alright. Looking at the big picture, can’t you see how that leads inexorably towards perdition?

As a former business manager, I was appalled when reviewing employment applications as they were rife with grammatical errors, and answers in any section requiring essay style response (Why would you like to work for this company?) would give Beelzebub the gooseflesh.

For the record, Littlecats had trouble with first grade and her Mom and I were given a choice regarding sending her into second grade. Once I’d met with the teacher and learned the problems to be reading-related, I voted strongly to hold my daughter back. My ex was concerned about hurting her feelings, yet finally came round to understand my position regarding the long term good of our child.

I don’t know if the school district involved offers the program, but I wasn’t up to par for the accelerated Math program at the end of 8th grade, but was too advanced for standard. The option? Summer school. Focusing on the weakness helped me stay on my course from that point forward.

E-mail has exposed the vast ignorance of our society when it comes to the complicated tasks of spelling and writing complete sentences.

That said, in the Memphis City School System children pass with no serious problems. It is those tests that the state gives that cause all the problems. If the state would just stop giving those competency exams, well everybody would be a lot happier.

You’re calling University of Chicago researchers “nitwits” because their studies showed that holding kids back tended to not work and was actually counterproductive?

Talk about blaming the messenger…

I think a big part of this problem is related to the way we break everything down into grading periods. In an ideal system a student would not begin a second semester of instruction until receiving a passing grade for the first semester. Even more ideal would be recycling a student prior to the end of even one semester.

Currently, a student that fails the 1st six weeks of algebra, presses on into the 2nd six weeks. Usually this results in lower grades and less mastery because the foundation is so weak. The student gets more and more confused. The idea of waiting until the school year has passed and then recycling is indeed discouraging to a student. Immediate recycling or reteaching would offer more opportunity for catching up and would be less discouraging. The problem would be in all the details surrounding the implementation of this kind of structure. In the short run, it would be very costly. In the long run, this approach would be more than worth the cost.

No, No, No No, No, I cannot even imagine the magnitude of the log-jam this would create in the Memphis City School System. What would we do, just take 1/2 of the City schools and designate them 6th grade?

This is sad.


How can this be considered acceptable?