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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Some schools stop giving F's

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Some schools in the United States have stopped handing out failing grades, or at least are delaying them while students get a chance to improve.

In Grand Rapids, Mich., work that would justify an "F" will get an "H" for "held," ABC News reported. The school superintendent, Bernard Taylor, said students will have several choices -- including retaking a course, doing additional work or agreeing on another plan with teachers -- but the grade will become a failing one if nothing is done within 12 weeks.

"I never see anyone doing anything but punishing kids," Taylor said. "If the choice is between letting kids fail and giving them another opportunity to succeed, I'm going to err on the side of opportunity."

Taylor and many other teachers and administrators say they believe many children quickly become discouraged and failing them contributes to the country's high dropout rate. He argues that children need to see a way forward.

Critics say the practice is amounts to coddling children.

"The task is to change the reality, not the labeling of it," said Alan Kazdin, a child psychiatrist at Yale.


© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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