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New York Schools to Try Flexible Promotions in Grades 1-3

Associated Press

The Board of Education has agreed to test a proposal that pupils be allowed to progress at their own pace in grades one through three, the United Federation of Teachers said Sunday.

The plan was offered by union President Sandra Feldman and accepted by schools Chancellor Nathan Quinones, spokesmen for the union and Board of Education said.

“There is nothing sacred about yearlong grades,” Feldman said. “Children learn at different rates, and if it takes one longer to get to the fourth grade, there should be no stigma attached to that.”

Quinones agreed to test the plan in at least two elementary schools that volunteer for it, beginning in September.

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The idea is to see if such a system will give children a better grounding in the basic skills by the time they reach the fourth grade, spokesmen for the union and school board said.

Feldman said that there has been an “unwritten but pervasive system” in New York City schools, by which teachers are pressured to promote children from one grade to the next regardless of their progress in learning.


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