Automatic passing is failing students say Nunavut DEAs
Calling for an end to practice of promoting students who don't make the grade
Posted: Oct 25, 2012 7:15 PM CT
Last Updated: Oct 28, 2012 1:40 PM CT
Local education authorities in Nunavut are calling for an end to the practice of promoting students who don’t pass the tests or do the work required at their grade level.
The practice – known as ‘social promotion’ or ‘social passing’ – is based on the theory that students stay in school longer when kept with their peers. But both students and District Education Authorities say it is lowering the quality of education.
'It would be nice if the Department of Education was as frustrated with it as we are.'—Alethea Arnaquq-Baril
Danny Ishulutak is a college student in Ontario. But he said high school in Pangnirtung barely prepared him for college.
"I could say now that it almost stopped me from going to post secondary," said Ishulutak.
The issue of social promotion dominated the annual general meeting of District Education Authorities in Iqaluit this week.
"You know, if you look at Pond Inlet, out of 12 graduates, how many are working?” asked Joe Krimmerdjuar, chair of the Coalition of DEAs.
“Maybe two, if lucky. And the rest, I'm sure if they get tested, I'm sure they would be in Grade 6, 7, 8, 9 or somewhere in there."
The chair of the Apex District Education Authority said the Department of Education seems out of touch with the local authorities on the issue.
"It's almost unanimous, you know, the parents, the teachers and the students are frustrated with social promotion,” said Alethea Arnaquq-Baril.
“It would be nice if the Department of Education was as frustrated with it as we are and was at least able to recognize it as the main problem that we have now."
But the deputy minister of education looks at the issue differently.
"Actually we don't believe in social promotion,” said Kathy Okpik. “We believe in continuous progress."
She said the government's policy is to assess students all year, to give them a chance to catch up.
DEA members said that's not working.
Latest North News Headlines
- Cab driver tried to run him over, says Iqaluit man
- An Iqaluit landry service owner said a cab driver tried to hit him with his vehicle after an argument earlier this year. more »
- Yukon spending $1.4M to protect river trail from erosion
- A project to stabilize the Yukon River bank in downtown Whitehorse is well underway, at a cost of almost $1.4 million. more »
- Hunters not to blame for caribou decline, says NTI
- The decline in the caribou population of south Baffin Island is not a major concern, according to Nunavut Tunngavik. more »
- Needed: New approaches to defuse 'suicide contagion' among teens
- Mental health experts say we need to find new ways to refer to and discuss suicide, particularly now that a large medical study has confirmed that teens are more susceptible to the idea if they know a schoolmate who died that way. more »
Top News Headlines
- 2nd suspect in Tim Bosma murder case to plead not guilty
- The lawyer for Mark Smich says the Oakville, Ont., resident will plead not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Tim Bosma, the Hamilton man who disappeared earlier this month after taking two men on a test drive of his truck. Smich was charged today, after Dellen Millard of Toronto was also charged with first-degree murder. more »
- U.K. attack suspects were focus of past security probes
- WARNING: This story contains graphic content. Two men accused of butchering a British soldier had featured in previous investigations by security services, a British official said, as investigators tried to determine whether the men were part of a wider radical Islamic plot. more »
- Neil Macdonald: Harper no Obama when it comes to dealing with scandals
- Beset by three so-called scandals at the moment, Barack Obama has been meeting his accusers and the press head on, Neil Macdonald writes. The same cannot be said for how Stephen Harper operates. more »
- Rob Ford: Councillors, media want answers on crack issue
- Newspaper editorials and commentators are expressing frustration over Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's silence on allegations he was captured on video smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. more »
- Body of missing Fort Resolution, N.W.T., woman found
- MMA fighter gets jail for assaulting ex-girlfriend
- Arctic bacteria discovered breeding at record –15 C
- Yukoners knit wooly mammoth a new coat
- Yukon couple hold record for longest marriage in country
- Arena fire may force Fort Smith to build outdoor rinks
- Nunavut government is now less accountable, says professor
- Daycare owner failed to prevent sex harassment, says tribunal
- Whitehorse refugee claimant gets second hearing