Writing at NRO, Jay Greene and Marcus Winter reveal some new work of theirs on the effects of social promotion versus holding students back who haven’t learned what they should have. You can read it here.
The fact that social promotion — so very fine a fit with all the rest of the “progressive” educational mindset — leads to college students who read and write like grade schoolers is worth noting. If it weren’t for social promotion, remedial courses wouldn’t be necessary.
Furthermore, social promotion explains one of the worst features about many college students these days — a sense of entitlement. They have grown up with schooling where bad performance doesn’t hinder your progress and naturally expect college to be more of the same. With large numbers of such students in a class, many professors give up and water down their courses while giving high grades.