Should every student move up to the next grade? (subscription)
Many students have fallen behind this year because of remote learning and other pandemic-related disruptions, leaving districts to wrestle with the question of whether struggling students should automatically move up, or if it would be better for some of them to repeat a grade.
In Chicago, the nation’s third-largest school district with some 340,000 students, the Board of Education will vote on Wednesday on a proposal that would promote all elementary and middle school students to the next grade, regardless of whether they have fallen behind. (It adopted the same policy last spring, after schools closed down.) High school students still have to pass the required courses to graduate, but the district has removed some other requirements.
Robin Lake, the director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education, an education think tank, said, “There’s some reason to think it makes sense,” noting that holding students back or offering them below-grade-level work both make kids feel bad and generally aren’t very effective.
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