NYC retains 8% of eighth graders

New York City schools are holding back many more third through eighth graders this year, reports the New York Times. Eight percent of eighth graders failed to move on to high school.

Last year, less than 1 percent of the city’s third to eighth graders were held back.  That increased nearly fivefold this year because the state raised the bar on its exams and the city toughened its promotion policy.

Because of budget cuts, no additional money will be devoted to the 11,321 students who failed this year, the city said. Instead, the city will let teachers devote about 37 minutes each week that was intended for tutoring struggling students to developing team-based strategies for how to address the failures. One intervention specialist for every 60 schools, on average, will work with principals to develop these plans.

Student who received a 1, the lowest score, on the state math or English test must be retained, unless the student passes a similar test after summer school. After six weeks of a half-day summer school, only 50 percent of students passed the test, compared with 82 percent last year.

Summer school attendance averaged less than 75 percent for third through eighth graders and 55 percent for high school students, who face a different retention policy.

Holding student back doesn’t help much. Neither does passing them on.

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  1. Peace Corps says:

    I’m wondering if kids that can’t pass 8th grade should be put on a GED track???

  2. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, by 8th grade it’s for all practical purposes too late. What we’re dealing with is the kids who come into kindergarten not knowing what a letter, number, or shape is. We’re talking about the ones who have a DNA donor or two at home instead of parents. We’re talking about children raised in an environment in which one is entitled to be taken care of and how dare you insist that they actually produce something instead of leeching off the earnings of others. Students who arrive at 8th grade lacking basic skills are ones who’ve been told that it doesn’t matter how little they do, they’ll be pushed along anyway. They have no concept of earning success.

    The difference between a society which believes that no person should be allowed to starve or freeze to death and one which believes that every person deserves to be kept comfortable is the difference between a society of compassion and a society of looters.

  3. Holding student back doesn’t help much. Neither does passing them on.

    Didn’t we recently have an example of a community college which refused to admit applicants testing below a 7th-grade level, because they failed to learn in the CC?  Well, here’s one.

    There are some people who just Aren’t Going To Get It.  Aside from attaching real consequences to failure to guarantee motivation, some are just plain stupid and can’t be helped.  The only real fix is to create negative consequences for irresponsibility (like having children without any way of supporting them), and let things work out.

  4. It depends on what you mean by “doesn’t help much”. Help who? The kids who work harder because they FEAR a credible threat of retention ARE helped.