Key Questions

This data brief has two goals. First, it examines the performance of students who faced the policy in 1999. Second, this data brief adds a new year of data for students who faced the policy in 1997.


The December 1999 research report, Ending Social Promotion: Results from the First Two Years, examined the progress of third-, sixth-, and eighth-grade students who, in 1997 and 1998, were subject to Chicago Public Schools ending social promotion policy. To understand the policy’s impact, researchers compared the academic performance of these students to the performance of students in 1995 who had not been subject to the policy.

This update to the initial research report tracks students during 1999. Because this group of students received more program supports than the 1997 and 1998 students, the Update provides valuable insights into the effects of both retention and program supports on academic achievement. Moreover, with these 1999 data, researchers were able to track not only all 1997 students’ progress over three years, but also investigate how 1997’s sixth-grade students responded to meeting a second gate, the eighth-grade gate, in 1999.

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