Social Promotion in schools

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 4 10:01:19 UTC 2013

I'm sure the practice dates back quite far, but if it was a normal state
of affairs, there might not have been a need for a special word or
phrase. Late 1980s sounds about right from my experience (Harvard GSE
1989-90 certainly was all abuzz about "social promotion" and its
associated evils/benefits). The point is, the terminology has been
coined in order to either boost it or criticize it. In other words,
someone in the field decided that merely promoting kids from one grade
to the next along with their peers was a bad idea and started
differentiating between "earned" promotion and "social promotion" (I'm
being only mildly facetious regarding the "earned" part).


On 12/3/2013 7:41 PM, Benjamin Torbert wrote:
> How long has it been called that?  My student is writing a paper and can't
> find a reference earlier than the late 1980s, even though the practice
> dates back to the 19thC.
> BT

The American Dialect Society -

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