August 21, 2009
Fairfax County Schools Drop Automatic Failure Rule
For years Fairfax County Public Schools (the twelfth largest school system in the nation) has had a strict attendance policy: Students who miss three classes in a quarter without a legitimate excuse get an automatic F. That is about to change.
Claiming that the three-strikes policy has provided little motivation for students who had already missed three classes in a quarter to show up for class, school officials have decided to get rid of the policy starting this fall.
Today's Washington Post reports that going forward, Fairfax County principals will instead have a list of ways teachers can punish students who skip classes and reward those who show up. Teachers can, for example, give points for class participation and credit for turning in homework or doing well on pop quizzes. As far as punishment goes, teachers will be able to utilize options such as detention, taking away parking or extracurricular privileges, and meetings with parents.
I wonder whether the new policy will truly motivate Fairfax County students to show up for classes.
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