Today’s news:

CEC 18: ‘Is anyone speaking to the PTAs?’

More should be done to inform parents about proposed changes to public school promotion policies, members of School District 18’s Community Education Council (CEC) say.

While district superintendents are explaining the changes at council meetings, District 18 CEC recording secretary Derek Booker is concerned that parents are unaware of the new standards.

“Is it being made public? Is anyone speaking to the PTAs?” he asked at the council’s November 2nd meeting.

District 18 Community Superintendent Beverly Wilkins explained that she was providing details about the new standards at the CEC meeting and information is also being shared with local schools.

“Part of the reason why I am here sharing this information with you is so you can share it with parents,” Wilkins told the CEC.

As per the proposed policy, students in grades four and six who score on the lowest level, level one, on the state’s standardized English and math exams will be held back. However, if the students attend summer school for “intensive remedial support” and re-take and pass the exams, they will be promoted.

Grades three, five, seven and eight already maintain this policy, which is intended to end social promotion, the common practice of sending students to the next grade regardless of their ability to master the curriculum or obtain basic skills.

The city Department of Education’s Panel for Educational Policy is expected to approve the new standards for grades four and six during its November 12th meeting.

To Booker, the new promotion policy represents another confusing change to the DOE’s rules and regulations.

“I’ve seen charters shoved down our throat. I’ve seen empowerment shoved down our throat. I’ve seen so much shoved down our throat but it’s never enough,” Booker said.

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