ERIC Number: ED306327
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Promotion Policies in the Urban High School. ERIC/CUE Digest No. 48.
Webb, Michael; Bunten, Paul
A school's promotion policy is an integral component of its overall educational policy. In conjunction with achievement goals, it defines the levels of performance that permit students to move through grade levels and to graduate. This digest reviews the various promotion policies and practices in current use by secondary schools, particularly those in urban areas. The following strategies are commonly used by high schools to move students toward graduation: (1) social promotion; (2) tracking; and (3) merit promotion. More than 40 states--and most urban school districts--have implemented minimum competency criteria for high school education. But competency-based promotion, which relies upon a committed and aggressive administration, may have created a new class of dropouts in school districts where it has been adopted. Grade retention and compulsory summer school appear to be the most common alternatives to promotion. However, grade retention is expensive and may be racially and socioeconomically biased. Many urban school districts require the completion of a minimum number of credits, including certain prescribed courses and sometimes electives, as a condition for the award of a high school diploma. Districts vary in their policies regarding special needs students who are not able to meet the minimum requirements for graduation, including students in special or vocational education. Six issues to be considered while assessing and developing promotional policies are identified. A six-item list of references is included. (BJV)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Reports - Descriptive; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, New York, NY.