Social Promotion

“Social promotion” is something that I absolutely don’t agree with. Social promotion is when students in school are allowed to advance to the next grade even though they have not successfully completed the lower grade. There are reasons why this is wrong, though, there are also reasons for putting them into the next level of their schooling. You can look at it either way, but in my humble opinion, it isn’t right to move them ahead with their class. There are reasons that will back up my opinion of how this is wrong.

For one, the student would be moving on without learning what they should have during the time period of which they didn’t complete or pass. This sets them up for failure. Lets say that the person that is going on to the next year without passing the year before, they will not have the appropriate materials for what they will even be learning in the next year. This is crucial for elementary children because what they learn in elementary will follow them for the rest of their schooling, including college. If they fail first grade and their parents agree to push them up into second with their class, they are missing the key points that will be looked back on in third grade from second grade.

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Obviously, they didn’t learn what they needed if they have failed. So, in that case, the parents that send their kid up a grade even after failing, will set them up to fail once again till, eventually, they will end up making mistakes and just plan to fall back on their parents later in life. In one case that I have seen, the child was being put in first grade after moving from another town. He moved before his kindergarten class had finished, so he would, essentially, be moving up a grade. I remember when we first sat down for our review on adding and subtracting, he couldn’t do any of it.

This was because he had skipped that whole section of kindergarten and was started right out in first grade. Eventually, his parents moved him back and we were one kid short once again. Another reason is for the sake of the other children. How would you feel if you failed a grade and didn’t move on, but another kid was able to move on without even trying in school? Or, better yet, how would you feel if the person you were sitting by in elementary school failed his class and you did very good and actually tried and you both were able to move on to the next grade? I would feel that my hard work was over looked and wasn’t actually praised upon. When parents make the decision to push their child up a grade after they have either failed or didn’t completely finish the grade before, it doesn’t only hurt the child that it is happening to. All the children in the class would feel either left out or that what they had accomplished to move on wasn’t really worth all the work.

This could eventually cause teachers and students to not get along and possibly even fight. I know most parents, when they are raising an elementary child, are not worried about all the other children in that class. They are usually only focused on their kid and their kid only; which, being a child of parents that were the same way, I understand. Though, you have to take into consideration that if your child chose to fail that grade or rather chose not to learn, don’t you think that he/she deserves to stay back another year? Now the acception you might be thinking about is “what if we decide to move and my child is, now, ready to move up a grade when in reality he/she hasn’t finished the grade before?” In this case, the child didn’t choose to fail or not to complete the grade that they were in, but really they were kind of forced to. So, if this is what has happened to the student that was essentially moved up a grade because of this, the child would be both behind and would have an unfair disadvantage to the rest of the children.

The child wouldn’t have had to work hard to move up a grade resulting in children thinking, either they can get away with it, or what they have accomplished wasn’t worth the work ending with a child that is disappointed in his/herself. You can also look at it from another angle, though. You can look at it from the social ranking side of things. Social promotion, in the eyes of social ranking, would be a good thing to have in elementary schools. Coming from a child that has been through elementary school, like most people, know that children can be mean.

They call you names, laugh at you, and will even hit you if you do the wrong thing. Now, if a child had failed a class and their parents were not willing to sign a paper to move them up a grade it could ruin their social status and put them in a grade where they will know nobody. This lack of friends and the class that they are starting to grow up with can have psychological harm to the child. They could feel alone and start to become passive aggressive. These things can be bad for both the school and the parents. Though, if the child has failed the class, by choice, don’t you think that they would be, essentially, giving up their friends and their class before even finishing the grade? The children choosing to fail a grade need some sort of punishment and keeping them from moving on to the next grade is just the thing they need.

Now what if the child moves from a different school into another and is put back behind because he/she had not completed the grade ahead of moving? Well now, I don’t think that would be punishment. The child wouldn’t know anyone anyway and if they did move up a grade they would be missing a chunk of education from the part that they missed. So, really, in the social ranking angle, you can see that the child might be hurt by not moving up a grade by failing, but they really just set themselves up for it before the year had even finished. For the sake of the “new kid” it technically wouldn’t be bad because he/she wouldn’t have grown up with the class they are in now and they could make friends there without missing a chunk of the education. So, in reality, social promotion shouldn’t be used in elementary schools, or even any type of schooling.

Missing part of your education and making other kids around them feel bad isn’t worth moving up a grade after missing or failing the grade before. Social promotion should not be enforced in schools, especially elementary schools.