Saturday, August 13, 2016

Holding Kids Back

The Washington Post reports here on a new policy in Florida:  students whose parents refused to let them take the state mandated standardised tests in third grade will not be promoted to fourth grade, no matter how academically competent the kids are--and some are honor roll students.  I had to read the article twice this morning just to believe it.

Wow.  Talk about a really unbelievably stupid policy.  New research shows that holding back failing students just makes them more likely to fail and eventually drop out.  And this study was done with students who had trouble achieving.  Imagine how demoralizing it will be for students who have worked hard all year, gotten good grades, and are then blocked from advancing to the next grade.

Plus, of course, it costs a substantial amount of money to have many students repeating a grade.  The school district will have to hire more teachers, and build more classrooms. 

And, of course, the main point is that the best way to find out how well students are reading is to find out how much they are reading.  Only kids with a love and habit of reading acquire sophisticated reading skills.  Schools should worry about building a love of reading in their students and stand with parents on the destructiveness of multiple standardised tests.

No comments:

Post a Comment