Earned Promotions

Chicago school chief Paul Vallas called it "educational malpractice." And he has demanded an end to "social promotion" - the practice of moving students along to the next grade regardless of academic progress.

This means hundreds of young Chicagoans, eighth- and ninth-graders, won't be joining their friends for June graduations - or in new schoolrooms next fall. Not unless they can show significant improvement on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills by the end of summer school.

Does the damage to children's self-esteem from the threat of being "held back" outweigh the later damage of realizing they've been given a deficient education?

Chicago's officials have answered, resoundingly, "no!" We suspect they're right. The tough new policy is part of a broader effort to improve the city's struggling schools. It will be hard on some kids in the short term, but it will serve them much better down the line.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

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