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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Failure not an option



No, really.

 A Volusia County elementary school has decided to dump D and F grades, instead giving struggling students time to master the material they've had troubles with, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Instead of being labeled failures, the kids will be marked "in progress" with an I on their report cards.

Once they become proficient, they'll get an A, B or C to replace the I.

The initiative, which could go countywide if successful, marks a shift from the philosophy that all children can learn to one that all children will learn, officials told the paper. Detailed information about what each student must do to improve should help parents and teachers more than a simple letter grade, principal Sandra Kaye reasoned.

The article didn't get into what happens to the kids who never seem to get ahead. But it raises an interesting set of questions. Is it realistic to assume that all children will earn a passing grade? Is it appropriate to tell kids that so long as they keep trying, they'll never fail? And, on a pragmatic level, how long can you keep a youngster who remains "in progress" in elementary school?

Let us know what you think.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:27am]


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