DOE adds non-exam criteria to determine “promotion”

April 14, 2014 Heather Chin
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Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña has announced that the decision over whether or not students in the third through eighth grades move to the next grade will no longer be based solely on standardized state exams for English and math. Instead, tests will be one of several factors used in determining whether a student must attend summer school or be held back.

The policy move is a rebuke of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s attempt to end “social promotion.”

According to Fariña and Mayor Bill de Blasio, the new policy will require principals to set school-level standards. Each individual school will have to compile portfolios on struggling students, who will then be reviewed for “promotion.”

Current years have seen approximately 10 percent of students sent to summer school and around 2.5 percent required to repeat a grade—roughly the same rate as before Bloomberg’s policy.

The policy change comes as de Blasio and Fariña have emphasized a desire to reduce the DOE’s reliance on standardized tests in general, particularly in the wake of the introduction of controversial Common Core exams.

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