Some BX students may be held back because of poor test scores

Nearly 9,000 fifth graders could be held back because of their test scores on annual reading and math tests according to city officials. That?s more than 15 percent of students, and these numbers have some people concerned because last year only about 8.5 percent of fifth graders were held back because of failing grades. Those who oppose Mayor Bloomberg?s (R-NY) social promotion policy say this means that reforms aren?t helping Bronx students achieve more. But city officials say the numbers aren?t completely reliable. They point out that this year state tests were given, rather then last year?s citywide tests. They say the difference makes it difficult to make an even comparison. They also add that the exams were given earlier in the school year, so students did not have as much time to prepare. Not all grade levels saw lower test scores this year. City officials say third graders had better results for the third year in a row. Scores for seventh graders in the Bronx and city also improved.

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