Original story at: New York Post
KIDS CAN FAIL AND STILL PASS
By CARL CAMPANILE
June 6, 2001
The Board of Education will allow thousands of summer-school students to be promoted even if they flunk their exams.
The board is sticking to its policy of determining promotions based on a review of five weeks of classroom work and attendance, as well as exams.
That means some students will be able to fail their tests during summer school and still move on to the next grade - if they're judged to have done well on classroom work and attendance.
Last year, 15,000 students who failed the exams were promoted anyway.
Schools Chancellor Harold Levy defended the policy.
" A single 45-minute or hour-long period should not determine whether or not a child graduates. Everyone is entitled to a bad day, " he said.
" I'm following board policy - a board policy that I support. "
Board president Ninfa Segarra has said she opposed promoting students who flunked summer-school exams.
" It's an issue of credibility, " she said recently on a cable TV show with CUNY president Herman Badillo.
The seven-member board would have to vote to revise the promotion policy.
Badillo blasted the policy as a continuation of social promotion.
" There were a significant number of students who failed the test last year and were promoted. This isn't the end of social promotion. This is not having standards, " Badillo said yesterday.
" Ninfa agreed with me. You've got a conflict between the chancellor and the board president. "
Segarra, just released from the hospital for an asthmatic condition, was unavailable for comment.
The chancellor stressed that while exams shouldn't be the sole criteria for promotion, they shouldn't be discounted either.
" The exams should be powerfully counted. And if the results are consistent with poor class work, then they [students] should be left back, " Levy said.
The chancellor is pushing to boost attendance during the summer session next month by reaching parents with a new speed-dialing system, a hot-line number, flashy ads and public-service announcements, and truancy teachers to knock on their doors.