Still freshmen: Study looks at ninth grade repeaters

A new report from Johns Hopkins found that more than 90,000 students from six states repeated ninth grade in 2004-05, with nearly three in 10 students repeating ninth-grade in one of them.

I thought it was interesting so I am putting the info up here for your perusal. I have not seen much research on kids held back in their freshman year.

I wonder if the high school and middle school graduation coaches are impacting this rate in Georgia?

According to the release on the report:

Still a Freshman: Examining the Prevalence and Characteristics of Ninth-Grade Retention Across Six States,” introduces a new measure, the first-time ninth-grade estimate, to study ninth-grade retention rates that can help teachers and administrators identify and help students while there is time to keep them on the graduation path.

The report also looks at students who are repeating ninth grade by school size, location, percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, race/ethnicity, and pupil/teacher ratio.

The states are Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

Because states do not distinguish between repeat and first-time ninth-graders when they report fall enrollments, the estimate uses adjusted counts of first-time ninth-graders who are used by the states to calculate graduation rates, explained the report’s author Thomas C. West, a senior research analyst at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The estimate is calculated by dividing the adjusted number of first-time ninth-graders from the graduation rate by the total number of ninth-grade students reported for the same school year. The study focuses on the class of 2008, whose members were ninth-graders in 2004-05.

The six states were chosen because they use the same method to calculate graduation rates for the Class of 2008 and because they represent not only the areas producing the most dropouts, but also those with average dropout rates, showing that the new measure is reliable in different conditions.

Ninth grade is found to be a critical year because students who are not successful often drop out. Most schools and districts depend on graduation rates to measure student success, but they are reported too late to get help to students who need it.

Other findings include:

  • In South Carolina more than 40 percent of high schools had ninth-grade retention rates above 30 percent. In Massachusetts, New York, Indiana and Virginia, 5 to 8 percent of the schools had retention rates above 30 percent.
  • Nearly three in 10 students repeated ninth grade in South Carolina; two in 10 in North Carolina and slightly more than 10 percent in New York, Indiana and Virginia.
  • One in 10 students repeated ninth grade in Massachusetts.
  • In Massachusetts, New York, Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina, more than one-third of the students attended schools with first-time ninth-grade estimates below the state average. In South Carolina, more than two-third s of the students attended schools with estimates below the state average.
  • As concentrations of poor and minority students increase in a school, the percentage of students repeating ninth grade also rises.

The value of this new measure is in identifying struggling students early enough to get them help, said West. If states and districts were asked to report the enrollments for both first-time ninth-graders and repeating ninth-graders as of Oct. 1 of each school year, then administrators would know if they had a population of students who need assistance long before those students became part of the graduation — or dropout — rate, he recommended.

The Everyone Graduates Center seeks to identify the barriers that keep students from graduating high school prepared for adult success; to develop ways to overcome these barriers, and to build local capacity to implement and sustain them. It is located at the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins.

67 comments Add your comment

oldtimer

October 28th, 2009
8:35 am

I think it might be better to have intervention much ealier so that students are ready to work in 9th grade. Many schools are going to 9th grade academies to keep this group in a more managable smaller area with more mentoring availabe.

Clueless

October 28th, 2009
8:52 am

Did they ask how many of the retained 9th graders had “aged out” of 8th grade?

chuck

October 28th, 2009
8:57 am

I’m sorry, but this is just STUPID. Do you really think that high school principals don’t know how many students they have repeating the 9th grade? I’m guessing that they also know which kids need help in particular subjects.

…and report it to WHOM?

This is truly an example of why we can’t get anything done in education. All of a sudden, EVERYBODY wants to be the next education guru. In 20 years as a teacher, I have seen just about every version of “education reform” that you can imagine. They get more ridiculous each year.

The biggest reason that graduation rates are so bad in Georgia is because we have done away with the vocational track in high school. You want “those” kids to stay in school and graduate, teach them something that will help them to get a decent job when they turn 18 and finish high school. THEN, test them on the curriculum that they successfully completed, NOT some “College Prep” curriculum that they could not possibly pass. It is not about “dumbing down” the test. It is about being realistic. Not every kid needs a college prep curriculum. Not every kid will be going to college. Why not make their time in high school useful? Why not teach them something that they DO NEED? Why not have dual enrollment in local vocational colleges? This isn’t rocket science people.

The fact of the matter is that SOME CHILDREN are left behind…for whatever reason (bad parenting, lack of motivation, learning disabilities, etc.). There is NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD that produces a population where 100% of the children are successful in the classroom, graduate with honors, and go to college. The sooner we recognize that, the more likely we are to find ways to guide more of them to be successful, not in some cookie-cutter college professor manner, but rather in real life.

mystery poster

October 28th, 2009
9:00 am

In GA, this is the first year that students have to pass all core subjects to move on to the 10th grade. Before that, they were promoted to the next grade regardless. I’ve seen kids with 4 credits in senior homerooms. Sad thing, they really thought they were going to graduate.

One of the reasons for the change is that students were taking the GHSGT before they had the requisite classes. For example, students were taking the Math GHSGT before they had even passed algebra.

No Biggie

October 28th, 2009
9:02 am

I was a retained 9th grader in the 80’s and I graduated on time. I was retained by .5 credit. I went was able to catch up and graduate on time with my original class with a 3.5 GPA at that. There is nothing wrong with that as long as they learn their lesson and start studying they should be O.K.

No Biggie-correction

October 28th, 2009
9:06 am

I meant to say I was able to graduate with my original class on time.

Dan

October 28th, 2009
9:09 am

Again, it all boils down to teaching at home. How stupid do you have to be to fail 9th grade? These kids do not learn anything because they do not want to, and they face no consequence from not doing so.

Do you know that in some schools in Georgia, the lowest grade you can get is a 60? If you literally do nothing all year, do not turn in one assignment, you get a 60. If you get a 60, you still get the option to attend some little seminar for a week, and pass the class. That is ridiculous folks. How is it possible that a class of 7th graders do not know what The Constitution is?

How is it possible that a class of 7th graders can be given a take home multiple choice test that they are allowed to use their notes on, and still pull a class average of 70? Because they don’t care, their parents don’t care, and our education system does nothing to remedy this. The schools do not need more money, throwing more money at this problem does not even begin to attack it. The problem is the total lack of discipline, total lack of consequence, and total lack of parenting skills.

Just look at the news story about the kid who had his mouth taped shut. Boo hoo. If I came home and told my mother that the school secretary put a piece of scotch tape over my mouth, my mom would ask what I was doing wrong to deserve it. $100 bucks says that kid is an obnoxious, disruptive little sh*t who wouldn’t listen or respect anyone. I would have received much worse than that for such behavior. My how times have changed, now we have parents protesting this dreadful incident and taking the childs side once again. What message does that send to the kids? It says clearly “you can act however you want, because mommy will stand up for you”. Wrong.

VA Poster

October 28th, 2009
9:14 am

I think that much of the problem is caused by the educational system itself. For years we tell students that if they are failing classes they will be held back. Students soon find out that this threat in many cases just doesn’t hold any water. They no longer believe us. then all of a sudden when they get to 9th grade, if they fail 9th grade English, they are held back. Its the first time in their educational career that we as a system stick to our guns (so to speak).

Cammi317

October 28th, 2009
9:35 am

I moved to Georgia the summer before my Sophomore year. The 2nd semester of my Freshman year I was home schooled because we were doing a lot of traveling. I moved to Georgia the summer before my Sophomore year. I was required to attend summer school that summer and the next summer to make up classes like Georgia History, Economics and one more. Also, 1st semester of my Sophomore year I was assigned to a Freshman homeroom, although I was taking Sophomore classes. I graduated on time with my correct class. If Heaven forbid, I would have had to wait it would not have been a major deal because I was already a year ahead in school. I graduated 3 months after my 17th birthday. Ironically, my sister’s who were in elementary school were only required to take a test to show they were at or above grade level and were placed at were placed at their proper grade levels.

Cammi317

October 28th, 2009
9:36 am

I should have proof read before I posted…sorry.

A Realist

October 28th, 2009
10:35 am

If parents (and guardians) would allow books to raise their children instead of television and video games, we wouldn’t be in this crisis. I’ve met with kids in all walks of life and the common demoniator was growing up reading books and wasn’t allowed to watch television until the weekends or one hour each night during the week. In ALL cases, these kids had exceeded the the median score for required tests.

jdawg

October 28th, 2009
10:37 am

This is just a basic comment….until parents get involved we can put millions of graduation coaches in place and nothing will increase. When the student is always right against a teacher…..this mentality will have to be changed. Today it is I am going to the board, and you have discriminated against my child….happens everyday….in fact, it has increased in the last 5 yrs plus. Why do you think the Woodwards, Lovett and GAC….schools like those are successful….they have parents that care….do the research and statistics….and it will not change….

Spudz

October 28th, 2009
10:40 am

I think the school system in GA needs a serious “overhauling”!! I have a son that is a 9th grade repeater. I’ve spoken with his high school counselor and his instructors about working together to get to the root of the issue. They do not communicate with me and it takes sending several e-mails to get a response. After speaking with a teacher at “Open House”, I found out this teacher never opened any of my e-mails – so she never put any attention to my needs as a parent. That is the problem I see with the school system. There are a lot of teachers that care, but there are a lot of teachers that are there for a paycheck. I think once we resolve the issue at the top – down, we will see change.

sportsmommy74

October 28th, 2009
10:46 am

This terrifies me because my child will be a ninth grader next school year. What is it about the ninth grade that affects our children so? He’s not having many problems in the 8th grade now, but this is not a good statistic. What does Georgia’s rate look like?

mom

October 28th, 2009
10:53 am

sportsmoomy74- the biggest change in 9th grade is that no one (teachers) reminder you of anything.
There is a lot more homework, quizzes and tests. You must stay on top of your school work

SallyB

October 28th, 2009
11:03 am

The 9th grade is where the buck stops for many students. The 9th grade is the place where “trying” no longer cuts it. In elementary school, as well as middle school, a teacher is expected to provide lessons at multiple levels ….for the advanced student, for the average student, for the learning disabled student, for the behavior disordered student, for the lazy student, for the hungry student, and on infinitum.. In addition, the teacher is not allowed to evaluate the students using any reasonable criteria. All are expected to pass to the next grade and if the teacher feels a student is not ready, she is labeled a less than effective teacher.

In 9th grade, supposedly, this foolishness stops and the student must meet certain criteria to move on….i.e. he/she must actually earn a passing grade on his/her own and is no longer just moved on.
However, considering there are high school graduates who read on a 4th grade level……it looks like those 9th graders who do not pass or drop out when they hit the 9th grade wall, are eventually passed on, too.

SallyB

October 28th, 2009
11:06 am

oops….caught in the big bad monster filter….again!!

Spudz

October 28th, 2009
11:07 am

Sportsmommy74 – My son was OK in the 8th grade as well. This all happened in the 9th grade. Agreeing with mom, there is a lot of homework and quizzes. My son has at least one quiz a week for each of his classes and a major test every other week. This does not include the special projects they have for each class. My son is overwhelmed with all the work, and he does not watch TV on a regular basis during the week. Be prepared to work closely with the teachers and keep in contact with them on a regular basis.

rural education

October 28th, 2009
11:08 am

The truth is that in many counties students are passed on to High School even if they don’t pass the required CRCT tests. This creates students who arrive day one without the skills needed to make them successful, little wonder that they fail.

Maureen Downey

October 28th, 2009
11:24 am

SallyB, You and eight other are out. I freed posts at 8 this morning and then went to the dentist. I returned to find nine other imprisoned comments. I am still not sure what triggers the filter monster.
Maureen

Lee

October 28th, 2009
11:24 am

How many times have we read on this blog about a student who arrives in high school while performing on an elementary grade level?

Maybe the ninth grade is not the problem….

sportsmommy74

October 28th, 2009
11:25 am

So being the hovermom that I am, constantly monitoring Parent Portal or now Parent Assist is going to be required. He is in the magnet program and does a lot of work and he plays sports. Not a big TV watcher, but he has practic alot. I’m gearing up for it, but it seems like the kids have it much harder than we did. I’m only 35 and I feel like wow, I don’t remember doing Algebra 1 in the 8th grade. But, I keep on him and make sure he does what he needs to do.

steve

October 28th, 2009
11:28 am

Chuck – AMEN. The liberal organizations filed law suits about channeling minorities into vocational tracks and now they just drop out of school and sell drugs. I can hear the racial pundits screaming for my head now. I am teaching trying to help them and what are you doing?

V for Vendetta

October 28th, 2009
11:48 am

Lee,

I agree with you there. The raw material (so to speak) with which high schools are provided is seriously lacking. I know of multiple students who have not passed the CRCT, yet they are in ninth grade. Funny how that works.

oldtimer

October 28th, 2009
12:14 pm

The school system I used to work for automatically changed all grades to 60 AND mailed waivers home with CRCT scores for 5th and 8th grade. So kids get to high school and have never done anything…..You get the picture. Our schools are broken and I think many times we just need to start over. Many times I felt I (and other eachers) were the only one with high expectations. It is so sad. I even mailed, emailed, and phone called to get assignments completed and tests retaken so they could “earn” the grades. I left because I was just tired. I am working part time in another system,,,somewhat better, but not much. At least in a rural environment the kids treat me politely.

L Boogie

October 28th, 2009
12:27 pm

Every1graduates.org has done a wonderful job gathering data about high school dropouts. They also reference “The Silent Epidemic” that documented results of a study of high school dropouts asking why they dropped out. The major reasons were lack of interest in the classes they were taking and after failing a class or grade prior to or during ninth grade they were discouraged and could not catch up. The problem?? The school leaders are ill-equipped to implement the appropriate interventions and they’re too focused on the current graduation formula and making AYP. Fortunately, the rules are about to change. Graduation will be calculated based on how many ninth graders graduate in four years and not how many seniors graduate. Any Principal worth their weight should have already known what their ninth grade students were capable of and implemented the necessary programs to assist them.

high school teacher

October 28th, 2009
12:38 pm

First of all, Georgia is not one of the six states, so perhaps we are doing something right.

Secondly, mystery poster, I have been teaching high school for 15 years and you’re not called a sophomore unless you have 4 credits, until last year when they upped the requirement to 5. That is a state policy.

I am a 9th grade teacher and I can list several reasons why students are not successful in the 9th grade:

1) The students have been deceived. They are told that they will not go to 4th, 6th, and 9th grades if they don’t pass the CRCT, and yet they are promoted anyway. They can fail every English class in middle school and still move on to the next level without repeating a course. Therefore, when they reach 9th grade, they don’t believe us teachers when we tell them that they can’t graduate until they pass 9th grade academic courses. They don’t believe us when we tell them that they won’t be a sophomore unless they pass 5 classes. The buck stops here.

2) Students don’t understand the credit system. They don’t understand that they cannot get credit for a course unless they pass it.

3) Teachers forget that 9th graders don’t know the above information, and they don’t stress the importance of completing your work and studying.

4) Many students who are 9th grade repeaters were placed in the 9th grade. They didn’t have the necessary skills to handle 9th grade curriculum.

5) This may sound strange, but students are already burned out by the massive amounts of homework that they have completed in elementary and middle school, and they are tired.

6) Most 14 year-olds are not ready to handle the freedom they have in high school.

7) Some teachers are mean for the sake of being mean and should not teach 9th grade.

8) There are not enough qualified teachers in the 9th grade. Many schools assign positions based on seniority, so the new teachers are thrown into 9th grade (most teachers don’t like 9th graders). I’m not saying that new teachers are poor; I am saying that 9th grade is typically seen as the undesirable grade to teach (unless you’re insane like me :) )

Hope this helps. Other teachers, please add whatever I left off.

high school teacher

October 28th, 2009
1:09 pm

Okay I learned something new. Apparently if you put a parenthesis in front of the number 8, it turns into a smiley face with sunglasses.

Gwinnett HS Teacher

October 28th, 2009
1:14 pm

Spudz – yes, I, and all of my colleagues are in it for all the big money we get! You’re ridiculous. I’m sorry that your child’s teacher didn’t answer your emails, but, please don’t lump all of us into that “bad teacher in it for the money” bag; and I won’t lump you in the bad parents bag because your child got retained…

chuck

October 28th, 2009
1:33 pm

Thanks Steve. The loss of a vocational track really saddens me. I teach 8th graders and I can tell you now that some of them will NEVER PASS a standardized test…graduation or otherwise. Putting them in a “college prep” class is practically cruel and unusual punishment.

sports”mommy”, my suggestion to you is to QUIT hovering and let your son grow up. That doesn’t mean that you become uninvolved, it simply means that you let your son handle his own problems, do his own work, and wipe his own well…you get my drift. He won’t do anything productive if he has “mommy” taking all of HIS responsibility. Instead of hovering, leave all of the day-to-day stuff of being a student, then hold him accountable for carrying out his responsibilities. High school teachers will eat your son alive if they have to continually deal with a hovering parent.

Virginia Girl

October 28th, 2009
1:47 pm

I suspect that it must be difficult to fail 8th grade because middle schools really do not want a bunch of 16- and 17-year-olds in their schools w/11 y.o. 6th graders.

high school teacher

October 28th, 2009
2:06 pm

You’re right, Virginia Girl. However, throwing kids into a place they’re not ready for is just as detrimental. We need a true alternative school, not for behavior, but for kids who are behind. When they catch up, they can go back with their class.

Gwinnett HS Teacher

October 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

Virginia Girl – you are absolutely right, and by the same token – I don’t want 19 years olds in the same 9th grade classes and 13 and 14 year olds.

sportsmommy74

October 28th, 2009
2:20 pm

Chuck, when I say hover, please understand that I do not do his work, but I look to see if he passed his quiz with a 90 or a 70, it lets me know if he’s studying when he says that he is. I don’t do any of his work, nor wipe his behind. But, I do make sure he goes to class and is passing. If I notice a pattern of HW assignments start missing, then he misses practice or a game. I consider myself a “hover”mom in that sense because I don’t just let him do whatever. I follow up and check.

chuck

October 28th, 2009
2:48 pm

High School Teacher, I think you covered most of it. The General Assembly’s “No Social Promotion” law is a joke. My principal routinely places students in the next grade level…ESPECIALLY 9th grade…to get them out of our building. Much of the time they are not even required to go to summer school.

To a degree, I can understand his problem. My wife, a 7th grade teacher, routinely has 15 and 16 year-olds in her classes at another middle school. They only give us so many “slots” to send underperforming students to the alternative “academic success” school and they won’t accept any students who are discipline problems. I think that if a 16 year-old has no high school credits and shows no sign of a desire to get any, they should be asked to leave.

chuck

October 28th, 2009
2:51 pm

If that’s what you are talking about sportsmom, then you are an amateur hoverer. I have parents call to find out why their kid only made a 96 on a project. I could do alright with your mild hovering tendencies.

sportsmommy74

October 28th, 2009
2:53 pm

I don’t like to make the teachers mad with me. I let them know that I am there to help them if theuy have ANY problems with my son and that he will respect and honor them. Nah, I’m not that bad. I just know that my son is lazy and I have to follow up.

chuck

October 28th, 2009
2:55 pm

” I just know that my son is lazy and I have to follow up.”

That’s just good parenting, mom.

oldtimer

October 28th, 2009
3:00 pm

High School teacher covered the points. I do have a question or two. Why could High School graduation rates not include those who need five years to graduate? Some need more than 4. I have taught special needs students who need five years to complete the work….especially algebra.

DeKalb Conservative

October 28th, 2009
3:12 pm

@ sportsmommy74

You’ve got the right idea, including right intentions. Anyone who says different, especially a government-teacher on this blog is likely intimidated by the accountability you are holding your son and the institution he is going to.

The lesson that will go further, and judging by your comments, it sounds like your son is college-bound material, its probably more important to pass on the crucial skills to him that you ordinarily would have held as your role in his earlier education years.

Teach him how to recognize a red flag. Teach him that yes, he is going to have a quiz weekly in certain classes and sometimes that is necessary. Teach him the value of time management and you’ll watch as he progresses through high school that he’ll turn into a better student and be better prepared.

The real danger to not give him these valuable skills can be painfully seen 1st semester of college. Students that lack personal discipline or need micromanagement structure will too often flunk out. The work ethics you give him now and the ability to prioritize will shape his adult life.

DeKalb Conservative

October 28th, 2009
3:24 pm

@ oldtimer

Why should graduation rates include 5 year figures? Short of going Erin Brockovich and documenting the local power plant, or manufacturing facility in the community is dumping poison into the water supply, making everyone sick and therefore increasing the number of special needs students, why should it matter? Shouldn’t every school have a relative playing field of special needs students based on biology?

Let’s not forget what a H.S. diploma is. It is the minimum requirements of today’s society for millennials. Ignore the stories of decades past of people that never graduated and become successful, blah blah blah. Those are stories and statistics, by no means a recommended path for success in life.

In 2009, if you don’t have a high school diploma in 4 years, you’re a loser. The exception is a special needs case. I think we might be thinking of two very different examples of special needs. When students have some leverage to retake tests / quizzes, in addition summer school options as a safety net, there is no excuse not to graduate in 4 years.

So many people talk that students are taking more complex topics today, but also speak that the standards expected from students were much higher in years past. If a student cannot achieve the minimal requirements of a high school diploma in 4 years, then where does that leave them as an adult? It puts them on a path of government dependency.

Begin attacking me with sad stories of special needs and mistakes that teenagers made that caused them to not graduate…

sportsmommy74

October 28th, 2009
3:30 pm

@DC, we are working really hard on the time management skills and also the personal discipline. I tell him all the time, I can’t hold your hand and remind you when your work is due. He’s a really good athlete and I tell him just like you don’t forget your cleats or shoulder pads or the plays to the offensive sets or defensive sets in football , you shouldn’t forget that you have an essay due in English or a project due for Science. I feel like I have hindered him to a certain degree by always reminding him, but its still my job as his mom to help him succeed. This is new territory for me and I’m nervous, but I think he’ll be okay.

A Dekalb county school board rep told me once that in elementary school the parents are at everything, then by the time they get to middle school parent participation drops to 50% but when they get to HS it falls to 25% because the parents feel like the student can self manage. After reading this today, I don’t know how a parent can feel that way.

DeKalb Conservative

October 28th, 2009
3:30 pm

Bottom line, tell kids week 1 of 9th grade, graduate in 4 years, or you’re a loser. Tell the kids that if they don’t graduate in 4 years, and take ownership in what their lives will be like at age 18 that they will be so deep against the odds that if they succeed to be free from government dependency, their stories could potentially be turned into a mini series on Sunday night network television.

Too much of the media glorifies people that defy the odds and become successful, wealthy, etc.

I’m not sure what side the statistics are on for riskier behavior:
- Not graduating high school in four year
- Having your primary focus being pursuing a career in professional athletics

In both cases, many dream, or even ‘day dream,’ but few make it.

DeKalb Conservative

October 28th, 2009
3:34 pm

Why does it seem a family from India within 20 minutes of first hitting U.S. soil has their child graduate college medical school and becomes a doctor, but American families still struggle to provide their children with the ethics and passion to overcome adversity to complete a simple 4 year high school degree?

DeKalb Conservative

October 28th, 2009
3:45 pm

@ sportsmommy74

By him playing sports, you’re working on his discipline more than you realize. Being a good student and a good athlete is like having a full time job and a part time job. I also played football, but was only a “B” student in high school. The time I spent on the field, and in the weight room training gave me alot of self disapline when I went to college. For the most part I got “A’s” in college because I knew from my experience in athletics how far I could push myself and what my limits were.

I suppose the best signal and reassurance you could get is if you hear him say he went to practice a few times late per month because he was staying after school to get some help in Math, English, Science, etc.

I guess the other thing you can do is tell him how different groups turned out down the road. Think of your high school reunions. What makes a person successful and happy in adult life can be very different from high school. The all star football player in high school can turn into a drunk in college. The football player that was good, but had no aspirations of football post high school can often take the discipline he learned on the field and translate it into anything he puts his mind to.

The only other final thing to think of is putting a positive emphasis on his successes in the classroom just as high, if not higher than his successes on the football field. Kids want to make their parents proud and if they see getting an “A” on a science project gets a bigger reaction than the gaming winning tackle, it’ll help shape how they prioritize things.

William Casey

October 28th, 2009
3:49 pm

Great blog! Special thanks to Chuck and Sally B.

There’s another reason for the 9th grade “crisis”: the increasingly ABSTRACT nature of academics and learning as you move through the grades. I mean by this that what happens in class is increasingly removed from the reality of the child’s day-to-day world outside of school. Great teaching, parenting and increased student effort can mitigate this for most students but not all. The level of content abstraction creates a series of “walls,” each one ever higher that the student must climb. I hit my ultimate “wall of abstraction” in my third course in calculus at Georgia Tech in 1968. I made the rational decision that I wasn’t an engineer. Moved on to a nice career as a hisory teacher and basketball coach. We must provide “nice places to move onto” for SOME 9th (and 10th, 11th, 12th) grade aged children.

William Casey

October 28th, 2009
3:51 pm

that’s “history” sorry

SallyB

October 28th, 2009
4:20 pm

Someone above mentioned DECEPTION. My colleagues and I [middle school ] lament on a daily basis the colossal hoax being perpetrated upon clueless students….and, yes, parents. Passing students who in fact have not met the criteria necessary to go to the next level, proclaiming loudly that students who pass the CRCT are OK….when we all know those who score at the lower levels of the “passing” continuum are , in truth, several grade levels below where they should be. All of us here could go on and on with examples of unconscionable deceit.

SallyB

October 28th, 2009
4:20 pm

Someone above mentioned DECEPTION. My colleagues and I [middle school ] lament on a daily basis the colossal hoax being perpetrated upon clueless students….and, yes, parents. Passing students who in fact have not met the criteria necessary to go to the next level, proclaiming loudly that students who pass the CRCT are OK….when we all know those who score at the lower levels of the “passing” continuum are , in truth, several grade levels below where they should be. All of us here could go on and on with examples of unconscionable deceit.

Not buying the new curriculum

October 28th, 2009
4:33 pm

Cobb passed a requirement last year that 9th graders pass English, Science and Math in order to be promoted (regardless of the number of credits they have). I would love to see Cobb’s 9th grade retention numbers for last year’s freshman—-the numbers who failed Math I alone were said to be huge. As some have already stated, this one size fits all-college prep for all- will make Georgia’s dropout rates swell. The legislature tried to implement a mult-track diploma system last year, but the legislation died in committee. I expect to see them try again this year as more attention is drawn to the problem.