Should parents hold kids back a grade after coronavirus school closings?

Apr 18, 2020 by

For Chicago Teachers Union President Jesse Sharkey, the research doesn’t back up a decision to keep students from moving up to the next grade.

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By Nader Issa –

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Illinois education officials and have said students still should be promoted to the next grade level despite the unprecedented disruption to the school year caused by the coronavirus.

But what if parents disagree?

Without regular, in-person schooling for 2.2 million students over the last three months of this academic year, parents are searching for answers to limit the long-term impact on their children. Some have even suggested they might voluntarily hold back their own children from moving to the next grade level, in order to make up for any lost instruction time this year.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a friend of President Donald Trump, has given parents in that state the option of holding their children back a year because of the pandemic.

Asked Friday if that was a possibility in Illinois, Pritzker said he hadn’t seen DeSantis’ plan or discussed it with education officials.

“It’s not something that we’ve contemplated right now, given the amount of time that’s left in the school year and the fact that some school districts, many school districts, do have a pretty good e-learning program in place so they can get much of the instruction done,” the governor said.

“But I recognize that there are kids who may not get as much. And therefore, you know, something like that might work. But I’ll go look at what Governor DeSantis has announced.”

Even so, Pritzker and State Supt. of Education Carmen Ayala stressed districts should adjust grading policies to ensure students don’t fail any assignments, classes or grades.

Ayala said it’s unreasonable to expect kids to be fully caught up when in-person instruction resumes, but the goal should be to keep them learning and progressing as much as possible. Any catching up will be done next school year, in their new grade level.

Source: Should parents hold kids back a grade after coronavirus school closings? – Chicago Sun-Times

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  1. Avatar

    Hold kids back, or move on to the next grade. Those are the only choices? When does it become apparent that this is another form of child abuse: moving kids on to the next grade without careful measure of their skills and knowledge, and delivering a one-size-fits-all curriculum.
    Maybe their is another choice. Know your students. Teach essential skills at their level for as long as needed to achieve deep understanding. Move them forward in literacy, numeracy, motor skills, social skills, self-management skills, as they become ready to move to a higher level. Teach and learn with a classroom environment in which kids and adults feel safe and connected.

  2. Avatar
    Karole Fedrick

    Schools would love that – get a whole extra year of funding per child. Reality #1, there is nothing students wouldn’t be learning in school now that can’t be learned in short order in the fall if schools will spend time on academics instead of social and emotional learning psychobabble. Reality #2, it’s a proven fact that much of what they learn is forgotten the next year anyway.

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