Volume 74, Number 17 | August 25 - 31 , 2004

Back to School, Part I

A special Villager supplement.


Chancellor Joel Klein, second from left, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor for Education Dennis Wolcott, far right, announced results of the Summer Success Academy for third graders last Wednesday.

Mayor and chancellor call Summer Academy a success

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein on Aug. 18 announced the results of the Summer Success Academy, noting that 51 percent of third grade students who attended 10 or more days earned automatic promotion to the fourth grade by passing required citywide tests, which include the English Language Arts and math exams. 

The mayor and chancellor also announced that 41 percent of all third grade students who failed the test during the spring scored a passing grade or higher on the summer tests, thus earning automatic promotion to the fourth grade. This is more than double the rate last year.

The mayor and chancellor made the announcement at Department of Education headquarters in the Tweed Courthouse.

“The Summer Success Academy is critical in our efforts to end the practice of social promotion and provide students with the education they deserve,” said Bloomberg. “Unlike in the past, when students were done a great disservice and promoted to the next grade unprepared, students now receive the support and attention they need to move on. In its first year, the Academy helped over 4,200 students who were at levels too low to graduate get the education they need to move on to the next grade. The extra attention clearly makes a difference.”

“Ending social promotion is an important yet common sense step toward restoring accountability in our public schools,” Klein said. “It is far preferable to educate children before promoting them, than to promote children before educating them. Thanks to the hard work of our students, parents, teachers and entire school staffs, we’ve succeeded this year not only in identifying the students who most needed help, but providing that support and placing them appropriately.” 

During the 2003-’04 school year, D.O.E. announced its strict new promotion policy for third graders. The policy was strict implemented in an effort to end what is known as “social promotion,” under which students who some say are not prepared were allowed to move to the next grade level in the city’s public school system. 

The D.O.E. offered 9,239 third grade students placement in the Summer Success Academy this summer, providing students with intensive instruction and support in July and August, the opportunity to re-take the tests in August and a review of their classwork.

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