Quote Originally Posted by Casey at the Bat View Post
What kids are you talking about who graduate but can't read? In CA, students still need 220 credits to graduate from high school (a passed class = 5 credits). And those 220 credits have to be in specific subjects... 40 credits in English, 30 credits in math, 10 in earth science, 10 in biological sciences, with at least one class in a lab science, 10 for a foreign language, etc. If these kids can't read or don't do their work, they don't get a passing grade, and they don't graduate. So as someone who has worked at the high school level at different districts for the past 18 years, I am wondering exactly what students you are talking about that we are graduating that can't read. Social promotion definitely occurs at the elementary level, for all the reasons we've discussed over and over again. But it doesn't really happen at the high school level. If anything, sadly, these kids end up dropping out.
this is a damn good question.

Quote Originally Posted by Casey at the Bat View Post
The psychs at our district have done a good job of explaining why retention is usually a bad idea, so it doesn't happen very much anymore. Our biggest issue now is schools wanting us to test kinders for SpEd. The conversation usually goes like this:

Teacher: "Test Johnny, He can't do X"
Psych: "That's because he's only five. Give him some time, monitor his progress, and if he continues to fall behind, we'll revisit this."
teacher: "But he can't keep up with the rest of the class!"
Psych: "I know, it's because he's five and many of your students are already six."
Teacher: "But we've raised the expectations of kinders in the last few years, and now he's really behind."
Psych: "You can raise the expectations all you want, but he's still five. Raising expectations above someone's developmental level doesn't mean they have a disability. It means they're five. Break it down to his level. If he still continues to fall behind, we can talk about SpEd later."

I often don't hear about those kinder students again after the first several months of each school year.
i've watched this conversation take place three times with year between a colleague and someone on the CST. it usually comes after the kid doesn't do well on some academic tests. and i'm teaching 10/11 year olds.

when it was suggested to me that one of my students should get checked for an issue, i replied that i'd spend more time teaching that weakness to him for a month or so before taking that step.