PSAT for 6-19-12: Fight test-based student retention

PURE has been fighting the Chicago Public Schools’ test-based student promotion policy since 1998, and although the rules have changed a bit, there are still thousands of students who are flunked every year based on their state tests scores alone.

The harm begins with the way CPS bars eighth graders from participating in graduation celebrations if their state test scores fall below an artificial cut-off point. Those students along with 3rd and 6th graders with scores below the policy’s cut off point must go to summer school. Some of them may benefit from the extra time, but overall research shows that holding students back does not help them and often harms them educationally.

Many parents in Chicago would like to join the testing opt-out movement, but students in Chicago are threatened with retention if they don’t have a state test score. It’s simply wrong for one test to have such weight in these potentially life-changing decisions about children.

Here are two tip sheets for parents with more information and ideas for dealing with this harmful, ineffective, and expensive policy: What to Do if your Child is not Promoted and How to Help Your Child Move up after Summer School.

For Public Schools Action Tuesday today, please help us spread the word to parents

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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.