Students may be able to skip grades under new MCS policy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Students may be able to skip grades under new MCS policy

By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Major changes are taking place this fall in Memphis City Schools. First we told you about the district's new no-failure policy for some younger students. Now there's word that other students, will be allowed to skip grades altogether.

Under Dr. Kriner Cash's new system which he calls a continuum, the lines between grade levels are blurred.

Starting now, all students will have the same teacher for Kindergarten as they will for first grade. Likewise, all students in second grade will have the same teacher in third grade.

Here's how it works: Average Allen, Struggling Susie, and Excelling Emily are in Kindergarten this year, with their teacher, Mrs. Smith.

Average Allen is learning to do simple math at the Kindergarten level like the majority of his classmates.

Meanwhile, Struggling Susie, is confused by numbers, she will get special tutoring help.

Excelling Emily is solving math problems at a first grade level, so Mrs. Smith gives the Kindergarten student first grade math problems to solve.

Fast forward to next year, Average Allen, who met his Kindergarten expectations, is back in Mrs. Smith's class. This time he's learning first grade material.

Meanwhile, Struggling Susie, was not and could not be held back, under the district's new no-failure policy, she is also back in Mrs. Smith's class.

Excelling Emily, is a rare case, since she did great at all the first grade material, it's possible she could skip that grade, and go right to Mr. Doe's second grade class at age 6. It's a plan Dr. Cash gets excited about.

"There is so much variation among individual children, why shouldn't they be able to grow and progress at their own pace and speed?" Cash asked. And when they're more motivated, and the more you ignite with that inspiration for learning then zoom, they take off and go."

The approach now in place in Kindergarten through third grade is a pretty radical among public schools...but more common in private schools...especially those that use the Montessori method.

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