In 1982, New York City schools stopped social promotions. Within a few years, the problems caused by the change in policy lead the city to start social promotion again. In 1999, the city once again eliminated social promotion; it reinstated it after the number of holdovers had mounted to 100,000 by 2004, driving up costs and leading to cutbacks in numerous programs, including those for helping underachievers.

Social promotion was ended in Chicago in 1999 at mayor Richard M. Daley's urging, and in numerous other cities including Baltimore and Philadelphia in the 1990s.

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