Is It Time to Stop Promoting Social Promotion?

social promotion
Transparency in Teaching (stuff)
Transparency in Teaching (stuff)
Is It Time to Stop Promoting Social Promotion?

Hey, it’s Anne here to introduce today’s episode all about social promotion, you know, that practice where schools promote students to the next grade based on age instead of mastery. The idea is that keeping kids with their peer group is better for their self-esteem, not to mention promoting students with behavior problems provides some relief to the teacher, knowing that the student who made class crazy won’t be back in their class next year. But, does social promotion in education still have value?

The alternative has been retention. The idea is that repeating a grade will let struggling students improve skills that weren’t at grade level. Research, however, doesn’t back this idea up. Instead, retention increased the dropout rate and lowered students’ self-esteem. And though initially, it did boost student performance, the gains didn’t continue over the long haul.

So what’s a teacher to do? Does social promotion in education still have value? In this episode, we discuss what Ed Code and district policies say about retention and promotion. We explore what research is saying and what’s happening in our classes. Then, of course, we explain our suggestions for how to fix this mess.

Oh, and a new voice joins us in this episode. Welcome, Yvonne, who shares her elementary school teacher perspective. Now we have voices from grades K through 12. Unfortunately, Yvonne’s audio isn’t as clear as it should be, and some of her insightful comments may be difficult to hear. AND Sharyn was mobile on headphones and left us when her phone died. However, she did get in her usual insightful comments in the beginning.

Again, as always, thank you, dear listeners, for tuning in and sharing our podcast with friends, family, teachers, and others interested in knowing what is really happening in our classrooms. Please rate and review us on your favorite platform, as it really does help listeners find us. Leave us a voice comment, and we just might use it on our next show!

Send in a voice message:

Join the discussion

Further reading

7 ways to get a teaching job

7 Ways to Get a Great Teaching Job

As a teacher, finding work at a good public school can be a challenging but rewarding experience. These 7 ways to get your first teaching job give you the resources and strategies to increase your chances of landing a job that aligns with your...

A yearly ritual of state testing

Are we done with Standardized Testing, Yet?

It's time to end Common Core and State testing as a way to determine the effectiveness of our schools. Blaming teachers for students' poor performance on these tests, is like blaming the doctor for a patient not losing weight.

Clock at almost 12:00

Back to School Covid Style

Minimum Day Edition 001 We are feeling swamped with back to school Covid Style. Planning lessons for 2 1/2 hour synchronous classes and 150 minutes of weekly asynchronous work is time consuming. So until we find our rhythm, we are bringing you mini...

Back to school

Back-to-School Blues

As summer vacation is ending, I was wondering if you are beginning to get a nervous tick when you hear, “Back to School Sale?” Or do you find yourself tearing up when you walk by the school supplies aisle? Or do you awaken in the fetal position...

Transparency in Teaching (Stuff) Podcast



Tried accessing nonexisting field (comments_count) on node type (Media)