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ERIC Number: EJ763326
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Getting Ahead by Staying Behind: An Evaluation of Florida's Program to End Social Promotion
Greene, Jay P.; Winters, Marcus A.
Education Next, v6 n2 p65-69 Spr 2006
Of the many entrenched school customs that have been reconsidered and reformed over the past decade, social promotion has been among the most resistant to change. Holding children back in the same grade has long been frowned upon, and a large body of research seems to support that point of view. Despite the old habits and the old research, however, school districts across the nation have been slowly but steadily bucking convention. Several large systems, including Chicago (beginning in 1996), New York (2004), and Philadelphia (2005), now require students in particular grades to demonstrate a benchmark level of mastery in basic skills on a standardized test before they can be promoted. Florida (2002) and Texas (2002) have taken the lead among states in forbidding social promotions. But is this approach to grade promotion effective? Proponents of the new programs believe that schools do students no favor by promoting them if they don't have the skills to succeed at a higher level. But because these arguments, however plausible, have little research to support them, the authors set out to determine if they have scientific merit. In this article, the authors present a study that evaluates Florida's program to end social promotion. The findings suggest that the use of standardized testing policies to end social promotion can help low-performing students make modest improvements in reading and substantial improvements in math. While the study provides valuable information about the effectiveness of Florida's policy to end social promotion, it does not offer a full catalog of the policy's benefits or of its potential costs. (Contains 2 figures.)
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida