24.3.04

ALL YOUR KIDS ARE BELONG TO US. Apartment 11-D takes on social promotion in schools.
So, I asked a friend from the neighborhood who teaches second grade in a hardcore city school. She said that holding them back doesn’t help and promoting them doesn’t help. By the time they get to third grade, it’s too late. She said that the kids in her school are behind middle class kids even by Kindergarten. Nevermind the ABCs or numbers, these five year olds don’t even know how to hold a book, because they have never done so before. She said these kids need intensive work in mandatory nursery schools.
I have a colleague who has done work on the effectiveness of flunking students; her research is consistent with the two "doesn't help" outcomes. Mandatory nursery schools, however? How do we do that? Some shills for the education establishment have been pushing the idea that parents are obligated to send their children to their government schools; not surprisingly, many opt out. (The Joanne Jacobs post that is my source has provoked extensive discussion. If well-to-do and middle-income parents opt out of the government schools, what hope does the education establishment have of implementing compulsory preschool for children of poorer parents?)

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