MCS makes changes to "No Fail" policy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MCS makes changes to "No Fail" policy

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis City Schools superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash is making some changes to his controversial "no fail" policy.

Memphis City Schools said the changes are necessary to make sure students succeed and they have a plan which could also help save the district time and money in the future.

These changes will impact some of the districts youngest students. Dr. Freda Williams, a School Board Commissioner, said that the plan will also help to reduce dropout rates.

Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash is altering the "no-fail" policy the School Board approved this summer, hoping to avoid holding back nearly a thousand children in kindergarten through third grade who were not promoted in May.

Dr. Williams explained, "children who are retained in early grades rarely ever catch up academically and that generally leads to a child who drops out."

The district said it is revising the no-fail policy to specifically state that it will take affect over the next several years.

Dr. Cash had originally planned to apply the policy to kids in pre-kindergarten through third grade. However, this year, only children ages 4 through first grade will be on a plan to keep them from failing. Next year, the plan will expand to second grade, and to third grade in 2012.

Dr. Williams said the plan could save the district time and money. "There is a calculated cost to educate a child on an annual basis. When a child is retained that child takes a double hit, so rather than a one time charge that child incurs a charge for a second time."

The district said it also wants to make an assertive effort to make training available to help teachers deal with what could be a huge effort to tutor children.

Their plans will also help provide continued academic support for students in the form of tutoring before and after school as well as summer programs.

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