Promotion Commotion

Nearly Half of Summer School Students Have Failed Math and Reading Tests. Should They Spring Forward or Fall Back?

imageJULIO
Age 28
Resides Bronx
Occupation Glazier

Did you ever go to summer school?No.

Should summer school students who failed be promoted anyway?It depends on what grade they're in. I don't think a first-grader should be held back. I have a four- and an eight-year-old, and they're smart as whips, but that's because I'm on their butts all the time.

As an adult, what's the worst thing about the summer?Trying to find a place for my kids while my wife and I are at work. My own vacation this year is going to be in my living room.


imageMILLER FERNANDEZ
Age42
Resides Bronx
Occupation Security guard

Did you ever go to summer school?No.

Should summer school students who failed be promoted anyway?I don't think it's the students' fault. The teachers are underpaid and unprepared. All these candidates running for mayor say, "I'm going to do this and this for the kids," but when they get into power it's another thing altogether. I'm originally from Cuba, where education is much better than in the U.S. I wish my son had been educated there instead of in New York.

As an adult, what's the worst thing about the summer?I personally like the summer. It's hot, and I can wear almost nothing at all.


imageANTONIO BATTLE
Age36
Resides Bronx
Occupation Construction worker

Did you ever go to summer school?Yes, I went in the fourth grade for reading and math. It didn't really help. When I graduated from high school, I could read at a 10th-grade level. I've had to educate myself.

Should summer school students who failed be promoted anyway?I want to say that it's not a good idea to promote them if they fail, but I don't think they're being given a fair shot in the first place. Teachers aren't urging kids to study.

As an adult, what's the worst thing about the summer?That you don't get a summer vacation. You're not living at home with Mom anymore and you're responsible for your own bills. They don't stop coming just because it's hot outside.


imageHACHI YU
Age24
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Ballet dancer

Did you ever go to summer school?No.

Should summer school students who failed be promoted anyway?Giuliani says they should be held back, so, because I disagree with everything he says, I have to say yes. If you're in fourth grade, you should have the summer off and be in remedial classes during the school year.

As an adult, what's the worst thing about the summer?Tourists. I never go to midtown—14th Street's the cutoff for me.


imageCHERELLE CARGILL
Age25
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Actor

Did you ever go to summer school?I was a nerd in high school. One year I spent the summer doing math and taking driver's ed.

Should summer school students who failed be promoted anyway?They should be promoted to the next grade, but not to the next level of math or reading. I was educated in Jamaica; at 14, my little sister went back to finish school there. They wanted to hold her back two grades because even though she was very smart, she was so far behind the Jamaican system. In the end, they got her a tutor and held her back only one year. She said, "Oh, this is what it means to learn."

As an adult, what's the worst thing about the summer?That there is no summer.


imageCLIFF SUGHRUE
Age33
Resides Queens
Occupation Lighting and sound technician

Did you ever go to summer school?Yes, in math and history. It helped.

Should summer school students who failed be promoted anyway?No. A lot of kids lack basic guidance, or won't take it when it's given to them. I know I myself had to do things my own way.

As an adult, what's the worst thing about the summer?The smell and the heat are pretty bad.


imageDEREK MOK
Age24
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Graduate student

Did you ever go to summer school?Back in high school I went to school during the summer because I was studying computers.

Should summer school students who failed be promoted anyway?I think that standardized testing can be a valuable gauge, but it's never 100 percent accurate. I was educated in Hong Kong, where all that matters is your scores. You get 99 percent and some other kid gets 101 percent, you jump out the window.

As an adult, what's the worst thing about the summer?The heat. Even if you're broke, which film students always are, the first thing you have to buy is an air conditioner.

 
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