And that is why I agree with at least some of what Michael Zwaagstra of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies said recently about the idea of pushing students into the next grade even if they fail to pass the required courses.

“Certainly we should start from a basic premise that a pass should be earned, that if you’re going to move from one grade to the next you have to be at least at the level where you have mastered at least most of what you need to master,” he said.

“There’s no point in moving to the next grade if you’re far below that level, because it’s almost impossible then for next year’s teacher to help you get caught up, not if they’re going to also teach the rest of the class at their grade level.”

Now, I get it. Making a kid repeat a grade can cause all kinds of social problems. Kids can be cruel. If you’re forced to sit with kids a year younger than you, the problems are obvious. And I don’t think making a kid do that will do much good for some.

*This piece appeared in the Guardian. Click here to read the entire article!