2007_07_flunkkid.JPGIf you thought your mom was tough, wait till you read about Deanna Hassell. Staten Island resident Hassell is trying to get the Department of Education to flunk her son. She is upset and angry that her son Anthony, whose average grade for seventh grade was 60.53, was promoted to the eighth grade!

The Post spoke to both mother and son about the report card, Anthony's promotion to eighth grade and Deanna's horror. Hassell said, "Are you kidding me? Is the Board of Education kidding? How does a kid with a 60.53 average pass? He should be held back! If children are not getting the education they need now, when they get to high school, they are going to drop out." From the Post, some more details:

In a fortuitous twist for Anthony, the new criteria to end "social promotion," which went into full effect this year, actually worked to his benefit. For the first time, seventh-graders were promoted on the basis of just two end-of-the-year tests - not their year's worth of schoolwork.

He scored a 2 out of 4 on tests in both math and reading. Out of a maximum of 800 points, he got a 608 in reading - 599 was passing. In math, he got a 643 - 610 was passing.

"Ha, ha, I passed. I told you so," Anthony recalled telling his mom.

According to the Post, Anthony "never did homework" and "missed 55 days of school" at Graniteville's IS 51 "simply because he refused to go." Say what? Now, Deanna Hassell seemed like a hero until we read the part about missing 55 days of school. How did Anthony get away with that? Was he awesome at playing sick? And while it's nice that Hassell wants Anthony to learn his lesson, why not make him shape up his act during the school year? Anyway, if you look at his report card, chorus and gym class are totally inflating his grade!

Hassell really wants Anthony to repeat the seventh grade, but former DOE "director of assessment and accountability," Robert Tobias, who currently teaches at NYU, warned the Post that Anthony sounds "bored" and that "holding him back could be the worst thing to do because it would exacerbate the problem." IS 51's principal had no comment.