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Legislating to the Test

Nancy Flanagan comments on a proposed bill in Michigan that would automatically hold back any student who is not reading at grade level by the end of the 3rd grade. Not a good idea, she says:

Research on retaining kids is nearly all negative, in terms of their subsequent academic progress. Publicly failing kids makes them behave as failures, plain and simple—we have abundant examples of mandatory retention policies that didn’t make kids more motivated or smarter. And plenty of evidence about retained students dropping out of school earlier, hardly an indicator of progress in a depressed economy.

And she's got much more.

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