NH schools review wisdom of promoting struggling students
Keeping back kids doesn’t happen often in the state’s public schools. In fact, less than 1 percent of students in New Hampshire repeat grades, according to the state Department of Education.“I came on the board four years ago with one thing fixed in my mind,” said Dennis Ryder, a member of the Nashua Board of Education’s ad hoc committee on goals and objectives, when the topic of retention was raised at the committee’s June meeting.
The group is scheduled to meet at 6:30 tonight in the School Administrative Building, at 141 Ledge St. Members will review short- and long-term goals for Nashua’s school district and policies for students who fail to keep up academically with their peers are high on the list.
“The board took the position we should not be approving social graduation,” Gatsas said. “I think obviously the more you continue to move students on without them having the knowledge is what creates the problem when they get to grades six, seven and eight and in high school. At some point, that’s probably what drives someone to say I don’t have the knowledge and I’m dropping out.”
“My personal view is that first of all, it’s a student-by-student decision and the parents need to be very involved,” Livingston said. “I’ve seen retention work for some students.”
In addition to promotion and retention, the Nashua group also will delve into the idea of summer school, which started Monday at Nashua High School South and runs through Aug. 1. Classes are from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and each course costs $200. There are no reductions in fees for students from low-income families.
But some members of Nashua’s school board feel compulsory summer school for students who fail courses is a simple requirement that makes sense and other alternatives negatively affect the value of a Nashua high school diploma.