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Letter to the Editor

August 9, 2004 | By Lisa Guisbond | New York Times

The following letter-to-the-editor is printed in the Monday, August 9, 2004 New York Times:

To the Editor:

Promoting children in academic trouble is a "recipe for disaster," as Samuel G. Freedman notes (On Education column, Aug. 4)

But decades of independent research show that retention -- holding children back in the same grade for another year -- is an even worse educational policy. The vigorous outcry over Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's third-grade retention plan is justified by decades of independent studies.

Students who were held back in New York City, Chicago and other large school districts did no better on average than similar students who were not retained, and were up to twice as likely to drop out of school.

If educational policy were based on independent evidence, not political sloganeering, New York schools would focus efforts on helping students in grades K-3 before they fail.

Retention is long proved to leave many children behind.

Lisa Guisbond
Cambridge, Mass, Aug. 4, 2004

The writer is a testing reform analyst, National Center for Fair and Open Testing

Red Alert!
Let's Opt Out of the April 2014 NYS Tests

Parents can refuse to allow their child to take the State high stakes tests. Hand in this letter to your principal [other formats: .pdf .odt .doc]. En Español: [otros formatos: .pdf .odt .doc] Send your child to school and ask that an alternative activity be planned for him/her during the 6 days of testing.

Information for Parents who want to Opt Out:

Feel free to duplicate these flyers and give them to other parents!

We also have a magazine explaining Common Core, High Stakes Testing, and InBloom to parents. Varios artículos de esta revista fueron traducidos a Español.

Opt Out New York
New material to support the April Boycott.
Please share this Powerpoint!
Developed by a Long Island parent.

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Did You Know?
Did you know that charter schools in New York City enroll fewer students who qualify for free lunch and fewer homeless students?

Music Video: "Not on the Test"
Produced by: Public School Test Records and Grammy Award-winner Tom Chapin

produced by Naava Katz Design