Federal

State Journal

May 30, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Promoting a Delay

A bill to delay a ban on social promotion died this month in the Texas Senate. But, oh, what an interesting life it led.

Sylvester Turner

Rep. Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, introduced the measure in March, after state Commissioner of Education Jim Nelson said he would favor a one-year postponement of the ban on allowing students who fail state tests to advance to the next grade, because the first phase of the policy is set to kick in the same year as new, tougher state tests. That is, in the 2002-03 year, a new reading test is slated to start determining whether 3rd graders advance to 4th grade.

A few days later, the House unanimously agreed to accept Mr. Turner’s bill for consideration.

But three days after that, the commissioner reversed his position, and Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, who had expressed support for Mr. Nelson, followed suit. Both men said that they were confident that measures in place to help students would result in high passing rates.

An angry Rep. Turner suggested that the turnabout came at the behest of President Bush, who led the attack on social promotion in Texas and has been pushing Texas-style accountability in Washington.

Some legislators thought the loss of such critical support would sink the bill. Instead, with the strong backing of Democratic Rep. Paul Sadler, the head of the House education committee who in 1999 had sponsored the ban on social promotion with then-Gov. Bush, the bill passed the House by a wide margin.

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Teel Bivins, the chairman of the Senate education committee, came down hard against a delay. The greater wrong, he said, would be to keep promoting unprepared students.

And so Mr. Bivins refused to give the bill a hearing in his committee by the May 18 deadline, in effect killing it. The ban is thus due to take effect in 2002-03.

—Bess Keller

A version of this article appeared in the May 30, 2001 edition of Education Week

Events

Special Education K-12 Essentials Forum Innovative Approaches to Special Education
Join this free virtual event to explore innovations in the evolving landscape of special education.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
STEM Fusion: Empowering K-12 Education through Interdisciplinary Integration
Join our webinar to learn how integrating STEM with other subjects can revolutionize K-12 education & prepare students for the future.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
School & District Management Webinar How Pensions Work: Why It Matters for K-12 Education
Panelists explain the fundamentals of teacher pension finances — how they are paid for, what drives their costs, and their impact on K-12 education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Classroom Tech Outpaces Research. Why That's a Problem
Experts call for better alignment between research and the classroom in Capitol Hill discussions.
4 min read
People walk outside the U.S Capitol building in Washington, June 9, 2022.
People walk outside the U.S Capitol building in Washington, June 9, 2022. Experts called for investments in education research and development at a symposium at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on June 13.
Patrick Semansky/AP
Federal Opinion Federal Education Reform Has Largely Failed. Unfortunately, We Still Need It
Neither NCLB nor ESSA have lived up to their promise, but the problems calling for national action persist.
Jack Jennings
4 min read
Red, Blue, and Purple colors over a fine line etching of the Capitol building. Republicans and Democrats, Partisan Politicians.
Douglas Rissing/iStock
Federal A More Complete Picture of Immigration's Impact on U.S. Public Schools
House Republicans say a migrant influx has caused "chaos" in K-12 schools. The reality is more complicated.
10 min read
Parents and community members rally outside P.S. 189 to protest New York City Mayor Eric Adam's plan to temporarily house immigrants in the school's gymnasium, seen in the background on May 16, 2023, in New York.
Parents and community members rally outside P.S. 189 to protest New York City Mayor Eric Adam's plan to temporarily house immigrants in the school's gymnasium, seen in the background on May 16, 2023, in New York.
John Minchillo/AP
Federal Explainer What Is Title IX? Schools, Sports, and Sex Discrimination
Title IX, the law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, is undergoing changes. What it is, how it works, and how it's enforced.
2 min read
In this Nov. 21, 1979 file photo, Bella Abzug, left, and Patsy Mink of Women USA sit next to Gloria Steinem as she speaks in Washington where they warned presidential candidates that promises for women's rights will not be enough to get their support in the next election.
In this Nov. 21, 1979, photo, Bella Abzug, left, and Patsy Mink of Women USA sit next to Gloria Steinem as she speaks in Washington at an event where they warned presidential candidates that promises for women's rights will not be enough to win their support in the next election.
Harvey Georges/AP