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In an article published in the November 2010 issue of The American Prospect, The Hechinger Report takes a look at whether charter schools tend to hold students back more often than regular public schools do, and what that might mean for student outcomes. The research on retaining students – particularly if they’re older – has linked the practice to lower achievement and higher dropout rates. But it could be that charters are different than large districts that choose to end “social promotion,” the practice of passing students to the next grade level even if they’re low-performing, in order to keep them with peers of the same age. We looked in detail at the research and at what is happening in two charter schools in New York City.

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Sarah Garland oversees editorial planning and budgeting, edits K-12 stories and manages editorial partnerships with other news outlets. She has worked at Hechinger since 2010, and before that wrote about...

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