This article was in the Colorado Springs Gazette on Sunday. It is about my school district and the effort to end social promotion for students who are not proficient academically. It has been controversial with parents in the district and has certainly caused some students to move to other districts. While it certainly is not ideal to be in the situation where students are not prepared academically to advance, it certainly makes sense to me that they should not be allowed to move forward until they have shown mastery of grade-level content. This is the unfortunate reality for many students in our district, but acknowledging these realities is the first step towards addressing the performance gap that continues to widen for so many that we serve. Retention allows these students the much needed time to catch up to their peers without being pushed on to the next grade destined to fall further and further behind. From what I’ve heard from colleagues here in the district, retained students have been having success at High School Prep, which is helping to grow support for this initiative. Sometimes doing what is best for kids involves making some really difficult choices. I applaud the district for always keeping the interests of our kids the focus.