Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement
Superintendent Patricia Harvey and the Board of Education have set Saint Paul Public Schools on
a course to provide a world-class education for all students. A major district policy initiative to
support this goal was the bold step of ending social promotion, the practice of passing students on
to the next grade regardless of whether they’ve mastered their work. In fall 2001, the Saint Paul
Public Schools launched the Excel program – currently a one-of-a-kind initiative in Minnesota
schools – as an alternative to merely retaining students in the same classroom and program in
which they did not succeed the first time.
This report summarizes the current implementation status of the Excel program,
the characteristics of students who participated in 2001-02, and presents findings regarding the
effects of the Excel experience on student performance. The final section summarizes what has
been learned based on one year of Excel program implementation.
Freeman, Carol; Anderson, Roger; Seppanen, Patricia.
Saint Paul Public Schools Excel Program.
Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement.
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