January 24, 2005

Spelling an end to social promotion

Despite the howls of protest over retaining Florida's third-graders who didn't pass the FCAT, the retained students appear to be doing better:

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research's study encourages the use of standardized tests to end social promotions, which allow students to advance to the next grade level to keep up with their peers...the state Board of Education last week decided it would ask lawmakers to end social promotions at all grade levels...

The Manhattan Institute, a think tank that researches public-policy issues, released a study in December that showed Florida third-graders who were retained did better on the FCAT than those who were socially promoted. Researchers presented testimony about the study earlier this month at a meeting conducted by the House of Representatives' PreK-12 Committee.

The study compared the third-grade class of 2002-03, the first to fall under the retention policy, to the previous class. Low-performing students who were retained made higher gains - 4.10 percentile points - than similar performing students who were promoted.

Researchers acknowledged that their results only show one year and that they hope to conduct a long-term study to learn more about the impact of the policy.

The study is here; Devoted Readers will not be surprised to learn Jay Greene is the author (in fact, you probably got around to reading it before I did).

Posted by kswygert at January 24, 2005 04:19 PM