City officials rip mayor's decision to end social promotion

More than 10,000 students citywide face repeating the third grade due to overwhelming failing marks on end-of-the-year advancement exams. With Mayor Bloomberg's decision to end social promotion, these students must pass summer school. In the Bronx, more than half of the borough's third-graders could be left back if they fail this summer's exams.

These points and more were discussed at a City Hall hearing on Tuesday, where Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz (D - Manhattan) cited Murphy's Law, stating that everything that could have gone wrong did when it came to the exams. Although some council members are in accord with Mayor Bloomberg on his direction of changing the current state of education in the city, a resolution opposing the current testing strategy was passed - much to the chagrin of the Department of Education.

The concept of social promotion has been replaced by more emphasis on educating the children, including smaller class sizes from kindergarten to third grade, according to the Mayor's budget for 2005. However, a number of teachers find that students aren't advancing because of their inability to read.

The thousands of Bronx students who failed the exams this spring are still eligible to advance to the fourth grade if they pass the retest through summer instruction. Parents of the students who feel their child's abilities do not reflect the results of the exam are allowed to appeal the retention before it becomes permanent.

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