Plenty of lawmakers and educators think the law has been a disaster. But taking it off the books would not necessarily solve the state's education problems, specifically the dropout problem, experts say.
"Our research tells us that while social promotion is a bad idea, retention of and by itself doesn't work either," said Don Whatley, president of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, the state's largest teachers union.
Regardless of how bad a student's grades are, a 1986 social promotion law has allowed parents to sign a waiver and pass their children on to the next grade level, even when a teacher recommends they be held back.
—"Some experts say holding students back won't solve problems," The Associated Press, July 10, 1999
One of Gov. Jeb Bush’s key education proposals is to end “social promotion,” the practice of passing unprepared students from grade to grade.
“Social promotion gives everyone — students, teachers and parents — a tragic false hope and it must end,” Bush said last week in his State of the State address to the applause of lawmakers.
—Diane Rado, “Educators seek delay on flunking issue,” St. Petersburg Times (Florida), March 10, 1999
—"Experts say social promotion more harmful than helpful," The New York Times, November 15, 1979
Lake Wobegon effect
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