Monday, March 17, 2008

8th Grade Retention Battle at Tonight's PEP

It is the 4th anniversary of the Monday Night Massacre where 3 PEP members were fired by Bloomberg because they were going to vote against the 3rd grade retention. Since then, they've added 5th and 7th grade. It's all a crock. What happened to those kids who were held back? The DOE won't reveal - they have a study going supposedly that won't be completed until '09, just when these jokers are leaving office.

With Patrick Sullivan leading the charge and the Bronx PEP rep calling for a postponement of the vote at tonight's Panel for Educational Policy meeting at Tweed, expect the rubber stamp PEP to rubber stamp the BloomKlein policy.

As many have pointed out, ending social promotion is a political, not educational policy. All research shows the policy of holding kids over doesn't really work.

But individual schools (remember how they were empowered?) should make those decisions for each individual child at the school level. (Read this post from Have a Gneiss Day for a different perspective of a teacher needing the threat of holding kids over to get some work out of them.)

Take any 8th grade prospective holdover. My guess is that this is not the first time. Maybe it's been twice. The kid is practically a grandfather. My friend tells me about a 17 year old father to be in the 8th grade of a K-8 school. So the result will be an increased chance the kid drops out and never clogs one of the Gates schools with his or her presence.

And guess what? Their disappearance will make the high school grad rates go up.


  1. I bet next year's tests get easier, the kids get passes and Bloomberg brags about how well retention worked.

  2. I agree with Pissed off, this is a political ploy by the Mayor and his minions to allow him to leave office with his self-promoted notion of being the "Education Mayor" to an unknowing public after more kids pass the test next year and he moves on to higher political office...

    The parents and students of Queens still have no voice on the PEP while numerous substantive issues are ratified by the Mayor's rubber stamp Panel which replaced the Board of Education...

    It's well past the time to return educators to Tweed and not these technocrats who continue to pass policies that are detrimental to our children...


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