letter to the LA Times | http://lat.ms/qZhkqo
published 23 July - The Los Angeles Unified School District's renewed effort to end social promotion is a crucial element in easing the out-of-control financial crisis facing education. With a significant number of college freshmen needing remedial English before they can move on, the district's action takes on increased significance.
If non-readers were not allowed to advance beyond third grade, the social promotion problems in the fifth, ninth and 12th grades would ease significantly. If necessary, to avoid the stigma and parental wrath of holding children back, the district could develop a reading program irrespective of grade level that encompassed different ages. Passing would be a requirement of moving on.
Allowing non-readers to advance grades only kicks the problem down the road, a common trend with too many of our dilemmas.