Monday, March 21, 2005

Reality Bites: Bad News For Some New York City Parents And Students

The New York Times is reporting that almost one third of all fourth graders in New York City have received a letter indicating that they are in danger of repeating the fourth grade:
Education officials said this week that 23,163 fourth graders, or 30.1 percent, received letters last month warning that they could be held back if their performance did not improve. Last year, 26,053 fourth-graders, or a slightly higher 32.2 percent, received such letters.
Last year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg implemented a widely-publicized policy aimed at ending social promotion in New York City's public school system:
In all, 301,341 city students received such letters, up from 281,307 last year. Many more high school students received the letters: 105,137, up from 79,399 last year.
But all these large numbers do not necessarily translate into a large number of students actually repeating a grade:
The letters were also sent to 29,647 third graders and 24,837 fifth graders, the two grades that are subject to the retention policy. But only a fraction of those are likely to be left back. This year, only 3,012 children are repeating the third grade under the new retention policy.
Mayor Bloomberg has made some interesting comments about how New York City's teachers are getting "some support" from Margaret Spellings and the federal Department of Education. Be that as it may, this guy's stories speak volumes about the reality of some of New York City's public school classrooms.
An Invitation: All writers and readers of education-related posts are invited to contribute to the seventh edition of The Carnival of Education, which will be guest hosted by Jenny D this week. Please email your submissions to Jenny D's place here: jdemonte [at] comcast [dot] net. Jenny should receive your contributions no later than 10:00 PM (Eastern) Tuesday, March 22, 2005. The Carnival midway will open at Jenny's place Wednesday morning.

For the latest edition of The Carnival Of Education, please click here.

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