Chicago’s brand of retention, summer school all wrong

As an elementary school principal in Chicago, I presided over many graduations, and the importance of that ceremony to the children and their families was confirmed every spring. Thus the following headline from the Chicago Tribune of June 17, 1997, stunned me: “Tears of joy—and sorrow.” Above the headline: “For 8th graders at Von Humboldt School, Monday was bittersweet as 59 pupils graduated and 45 didn’t because their standardized test scores failed to make the grade.”