College Essay

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The Importance of a College Education

Johnny is a fifth grade student who is almost ready to graduate and move on to the sixth grade. Johnny however, can not multiply or divide. He cannot spell or read. Johnny fell behind in the third grade. His teacher overlooked his failure and promoted him so that he would not be held up socially. Johnny's fourth grade teacher promoted him to fifth grade hoping that he would catch up with his classmates. Johnny is now about to enter the sixth grade with the educational skills of a second grader.


The situation described above is called social promotion. It is the process of moving children through grades regardless of learning or skill. For years it has been the
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There were no grade levels, which is most likely where social promotion found its roots. Although Social Promotion is a newly arising concern today: it has a long history. The process of promoting students no matter what their academic success has been the standard in education thus far. For example in Chicago alone more than 40,000 children … failed standardized tests" (Berg A2).

     Why are student allowed to slip though the fingers of education? "For one thing it is easier to promote the student from grade to grade than it is to deal seriously with that students learning problem" (Economist, pg33). This is the main reason for social promotion. It is the theory of "if it isn't looked at then it isn't there." Teachers and administrators do not want to accept failure on their own parts or the students. "This is a case where the educational needs of children take a back seat to administrative convenience" (Economist 34). Students keep getting promoted to the next grade without the knowledge necessary to survive. Often it is thought that if a student is promoted then they will catch up in the following grade. This sets the next class behind because it is filled with some students who have the skills and some that do not and should not be in that specific grade level. The next teacher is at a loss for what level to teach, should they

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