By Kim McCoy Vann, Tallahassee Democrat, Fla. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jan. 24--Third-graders who were retained because of low scores in reading on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test made noted progress the second time around, according to a recent study by an education think tank.
The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research's study encourages the use of standardized tests to end social promotions, which allow students to advance to the next grade level to keep up with their peers.
Leon County Schools records show that 75 percent of its retained third-graders made improvement. And the state Board of Education last week decided it would ask lawmakers to end social promotions at all grade levels.
Opponents of social promotion say ending it will make students more proficient. Proponents say it's better for students' self-esteem and prevents them from dropping out later.
Amidst the controversy, schools are paying close attention to their …