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By MICHAEL OLESKER | September 17, 2000
AT THE END of the week, Lee Williams and Tom Sloane looked around Southern High School and saw that it was good. Relatively speaking, that is. The halls were quiet, the kids mainly sitting in their classrooms, and on North Avenue, where the great public school thinkers gather, they all had decided they would finally get serious about educating children. Williams heads the math department at Southern; Sloane is the school's mental health counselor. On North Avenue last week, at school headquarters, the school board voted to spend $8 million for extra help for failing children, intending to end the practice known as "social promotion."
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NEWS
By David V. Anderson and Herbert J. Walberg | May 20, 2012
Educators and politicians rave about Maryland's public schools. And why shouldn't they? After all, Education Week, the nation's most widely circulated education newspaper, has ranked Maryland public schools in first place for the past four years. But we who study public school achievement find, based on 2011 testing, that Massachusetts public schools are in first place, closely followed by New Jersey and Vermont, while Maryland is further back in sixth place. At least that's the conclusion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
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NEWS
By Kalman R. Hettleman | September 18, 2006
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., in his repeated criticisms of the Baltimore school system, has pointed to its "indefensible policy on social promotion" - that is, promoting students to the next grade even if they have not met passing standards - as prime evidence of the failure of the system. True, city schools socially promote some students. But the governor misrepresents the policy in many ways. First, he ignores the fact that the city policy was developed in close cooperation with and was approved by the Maryland State Department of Education during his administration.
NEWS
By Kalman R. Hettleman | September 18, 2006
Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., in his repeated criticisms of the Baltimore school system, has pointed to its "indefensible policy on social promotion" - that is, promoting students to the next grade even if they have not met passing standards - as prime evidence of the failure of the system. True, city schools socially promote some students. But the governor misrepresents the policy in many ways. First, he ignores the fact that the city policy was developed in close cooperation with and was approved by the Maryland State Department of Education during his administration.
NEWS
By Tanika White and Tanika White,SUN STAFF | July 31, 2003
Baltimore school officials announced three years ago that they were ending a long-standing practice of social promotion that had allowed failing students to advance to the next grade whether or not they had met the standards. The new policy was clear: Students would meet performance standards in each grade or be held back. No exceptions. Now, faced with significant numbers of students being held back more than once, the city school system is backpedaling from that policy. This year, more than 2,700 failing students in the city were promoted - more than half because they had been held back before, and school officials were leery of holding them back again.
NEWS
By Howard Margolis | May 12, 1998
AT THIS time of year, teachers and parents think about retaining children with academic problems. Those who support retention argue that these children will benefit from repeating a grade. Retention will give the student an opportunity to review the material or mature socially and emotionally. It will motivate the student to do better, to avoid future retention.Educators, politicians and parents who support "standards" and attack "social promotion" (automatically advancing students from grade to grade, despite poor achievement)
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,SUN STAFF | September 14, 2000
Determined to end social promotion in Baltimore schools this year, the city school board has voted to spend $8 million for extra help for failing children - even at the cost of making painful cuts in this year's school budget. Presented with two options - to help children in only 17 of its worst schools at a cost of $1.37 million, or to help children citywide catch up at a cost of $8 million - the school board chose the more aggressive and costly program. Asked after the board vote late Tuesday where she would find the money, school chief Carmen V. Russo said, "I have no idea."
NEWS
January 24, 2002
OF ALL THE disservices inflicted upon Baltimore schoolchildren, social promotion ranks among the cruelest. It's the reason you can walk into ninth-grade classrooms and listen to kids stumble and stammer over third-grade words. The reason basic math principles must be revisited in algebra courses. The reason a diploma from a city high school can't always be equated with knowledge or achievement. We cheered two years ago when the city school board declared an end to social promotion and demanded that kids who fail make up their work in summer school or repeat a grade the next year.
NEWS
By David V. Anderson and Herbert J. Walberg | May 20, 2012
Educators and politicians rave about Maryland's public schools. And why shouldn't they? After all, Education Week, the nation's most widely circulated education newspaper, has ranked Maryland public schools in first place for the past four years. But we who study public school achievement find, based on 2011 testing, that Massachusetts public schools are in first place, closely followed by New Jersey and Vermont, while Maryland is further back in sixth place. At least that's the conclusion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | June 30, 1999
Putting an end to "social promotion," the state school board would require low-performing Maryland eighth-graders to attend summer school or be barred from entering high school under a sweeping plan proposed yesterday.State educators said perhaps half of the 62,000 students entering seventh grade this fall could end up in mandatory summer school in two years."The rite of passage to go to high school without showing some basic skills and effort is coming to an end in Maryland," said Richard J. Steinke, deputy state superintendent for school improvement.
NEWS
September 13, 2006
Professors do take teaching seriously The cynical comments by the professors quoted in Alan Rosenthal's column "The dirty secret about professors" (Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 5) did a disservice to a profession many regard as a true calling. I suspect, however, that the "big-name" universities that employ them are partially to blame for their churlishness, because they have fostered a belief that being asked to teach first- and second-year undergraduates would be a humiliating demotion, rather than an opportunity to interact with an engaging and challenging student population.
NEWS
By Sara Neufeld and Sara Neufeld,Sun reporter | September 8, 2006
The news that 19,000 elementary and middle school pupils in Baltimore were being held back created an uproar among parents in 2003. So the next year, the school system quietly stopped requiring third- through eighth-graders to earn a minimum score on a national standardized test to be promoted to the next grade. This summer, the school board officially scrapped the testing requirement, a move coming on the same night as it lowered the passing grade in key subjects from 70 to 60. The result is a promotion policy less stringent than the one in place a few years ago, but one that eliminates the questionable practices of using a single exam to determine whether children pass or fail and making them repeat grades multiple times.
NEWS
August 10, 2003
FLUNK A student once, shame on him. Flunk that student a couple more times, and shame on the school system that hasn't figured out how to lead him back on track. Without question, the Baltimore City school board made the right decision when it halted the practice of social promotion three years ago. Holding students back sends an unequivocal message that failure will not be rewarded - and is most effective when accompanied by intensive remedial help, such as summer school or before-school tutoring.
NEWS
By GREGORY KANE | August 2, 2003
HERE'S THE latest memo from Baltimore school officials to Baltimore citizens: We surrender. Here's the memo Baltimore's citizens should send back: Fine. When can we expect all your resignations? The wimp-out came this week, when school muckety-mucks 'fessed up that they may have to back off of their policy against social promotions - a policy that lasted all of three years. It seems that, horror of horrors, the policy means that some students may have to repeat a grade more than once.
NEWS
By Tanika White and Tanika White,SUN STAFF | July 31, 2003
Baltimore school officials announced three years ago that they were ending a long-standing practice of social promotion that had allowed failing students to advance to the next grade whether or not they had met the standards. The new policy was clear: Students would meet performance standards in each grade or be held back. No exceptions. Now, faced with significant numbers of students being held back more than once, the city school system is backpedaling from that policy. This year, more than 2,700 failing students in the city were promoted - more than half because they had been held back before, and school officials were leery of holding them back again.
NEWS
June 18, 2003
IT'S GOING TO take more than a few tough summers to undo the damage of the city schools' past practice of advancing failing students to higher grades. Routine social promotion did no favors for these children, who would travel with their peers through the grade levels, but whose academic deficits ultimately would catch up with them. By not flunking them, teachers may have spared their feelings but most certainly damaged their potential: What good is being a ninth-grader if you're reading on fifth-grade level?
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,Sun Staff | October 12, 1999
Thousands of Baltimore's public school children would be at risk of being held back if the school board votes tonight, as expected, to set tougher standards for elementary and middle schoolers to be promoted from one grade to the next.School administrators will recommend to the board that it require pupils in grades one through eight to score at least 70 percent on a reading and math test created by the district and to have satisfactory grades before being promoted.Eighth-graders would also have to pass functional tests in reading, math and writing before they could go on to high school.
NEWS
June 18, 2003
IT'S GOING TO take more than a few tough summers to undo the damage of the city schools' past practice of advancing failing students to higher grades. Routine social promotion did no favors for these children, who would travel with their peers through the grade levels, but whose academic deficits ultimately would catch up with them. By not flunking them, teachers may have spared their feelings but most certainly damaged their potential: What good is being a ninth-grader if you're reading on fifth-grade level?
NEWS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | June 17, 2003
More than a third of Baltimore elementary and middle school pupils must attend summer school in July and August or they will be forced to repeat a grade. About 29,000 children in grades one through eight have been "invited" to summer school, the school system's chief academic officer, Cassandra Jones, said yesterday. Figures for how many high school students are being invited to attend summer school were not available, Jones said. School system Chief Executive Officer Carmen V. Russo, who is leaving the district at the end of the month, referred questions to Jones.
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