Common-sense educator Michael Zwaagstra says that most students shouldn't be promoted to the next grade if they haven't mastered the work of the present grade. more
As a high school teacher himeself, Mr. Zwaagstra knows up close and personal how difficult it is for the teacher in the next grade to help lagging students catch up. If the teacher teaches a remedial curriculum, then the rest of the class is denied grade-level learning and the whole class gets behind. If the teacher teaches grade-level curriculum, the lagging students can't hope to keep up. And education leaders who say teachers should individualize their lessons are dreaming in Technicolor.
Adding context to this theoretical issue is the fact that only about half of Ontario students have mastered the provincial math curriculum, according to the provincial tests. Because of its sequential nature, math is especially problematic when it comes to social promotion. It's no wonder we have a shortage of students able to envisage careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.