THE BRONX - Mayor Michael Bloomberg says going through the city public school system is not a free ride and is trying to end what's called social promotion - advancing students to the next grade even if they are failing.

"To put you into the next grade is as cruel and as mean a thing that we could possibly do to a student," Bloomberg says.

Currently, there is no social promotion for grades 3, 5, 7 and 8, but Bloomberg plans to also add 4th and 6th grades to the plan.

Under the system, students will be required to score a level two or higher on the math and English language arts exams to move up to the next grade.

The panel for education policy has yet to vote on the issue, but Bloomberg remains confident that the plan will pass.