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on Feb 9, 2010
No reason to celebrate here. This will mark the beginning of the end of education in CA. All NCLB asked for was that schools meet a minimum standard, that all kids would learn to read and write at grade level. Read between the lines of what Lairon states: Now MVWSD will not be held responsible for children being able to read and write. So many will fall through the cracks but be socially promoted up through the grades.
You know, I just don't understand the people who say that ending "social promotion" is the answer to everything. Seems like one of those easy, black-and-white answers that are really not so easy.
Contrary to popular belief, kids do get retained in our school system. I have known several kids who repeated Kinder or 1st grade; usually because they were developmentally or socially less mature than the other kids in their grade. Sometimes they are young in chronological age; but other times they are the right age, but just less mature, hence less ready to learn. With the kids I have know who have done this, it has been a good move. Conversely, I have seen kids who are academically on track in their current class but are socially much less mature than the kids in their grade, and that is not always so good. It makes it hard to make friends.
I have also seen what happens when a kid was retained several times, and is 12 or 13 years old in 5th grade. Not pretty, for that student or for the other kids in the class. A 13-year-old does not belong in a classroom with 10-year-olds, they are simply not in the same place physically, socially or emotionally.
So if kids are behind their peers because of language issues, or learning issues, or whatever the issues, you just can't keep them in 3rd grade for 3 or 4 years until they "get" it. The social component -- being with peers who are at the same developmental level you are -- is very important. Image an 18-year-old freshman in high school. Eeek. Beside, I think what you would have by that time is an 18-year-old high school dropout, because they would not have been able to relate to the other students for so many years that school would be a complete disaster.
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