Dozens of eighth graders at Rhode Island’s Calcutt Middle School who failed two to three of their core classes of math, science, English and social studies have been allowed to graduate and move on to high school, because students who fail are more likely to drop out, WPRI reports. According to an email response sent by incoming principal David Alba to the school’s eighth grade team, the change he has made to the Calcutt retention policy “is not a matter up for debate.”

In response to questions about the policy, Central Falls’ Superintendent Frances Gallo wrote in an email, “It is well documented that retention significantly increases the likelihood of a student dropping out of school by more than 50 percent, especially with regards to minority students who come from urban schools.”

Gallo went on to say that the district must ensure that struggling students are not retained solely on the basis of final cumulative average or behavior…

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