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[Susan notes: The writer makes a good point, one that never made the headlines.]

Published in New York Times
03/20/2004

To the editor





Re "Keeping Pupils in Third Grade, but Then What?" (front page, March 17): What about the children in the classroom with the children who have been held back? These children are not being represented in the debate.





Having gone to public school in Brooklyn in the 1970's, I can tell you that holding children back doesn't work, not for the child held back or for the other children in the class.





In gym class, some children are far more physically developed than others. Socially, it is also confusing when some students have gone through puberty and others have not. The children who are age-appropriate for the grade may be exposed to social situations that they are not developmentally ready for.





Holding third graders back takes a bad situation and makes it worse.


Ragan O\'Malley


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