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ERIC Number: EJ885535
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Pages: 37
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 75
ISSN: ISSN-0077-5762
Is the Glass Half Full or Mostly Empty? Ending Social Promotion in Chicago
Roderick, Melissa; Nagaoka, Jenny; Allensworth, Elaine
Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, v104 n2 p223-259 Jun 2005
In 1996, Chicago became the epicenter for this debate when it "ended social promotion" in the third, sixth, and eighth grades. While not the first, Chicago's initiative has been the most sustained to date and has produced the clearest evidence of positive as well as negative results. Test scores rose rapidly after the institution of high-stakes testing and the proportion of students with very low test scores fell. Early evidence suggested, however, that those students retained under the policy--nearly 1 in 5 third graders and 1 in 10 sixth and eighth graders--were struggling. In this article, the authors look more closely at the long-term evidence on the effects of Chicago's initiative based on findings from the Consortium on Chicago School Research's multiyear evaluation. They begin by laying out the theory of action of high-stakes testing and the debate over its impact. The authors review what they have learned from Chicago's significant and long-standing initiative to end social promotion in elementary schools and the potential effects, the promise, and the pitfalls of such an approach. While their evaluation of Chicago's initiative has allowed them to understand better the reaction of students, teachers, and parents to the policy, the impact of the policy on instruction, and the impact of high-stakes testing in shaping achievement both prior to and after the test, ultimately this evaluation is a look at the effect of a particular set of policies in one city. Throughout their evaluation, the authors were careful to examine how policy effects may have differed given the kinds of schools students attended. But overall trends reflect the impact of both initiatives and a broader policy environment of greater accountability for all educators in the system. The authors conclude by offering two arenas for future research. (Contains 4 figures, 2 tables and 9 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois