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Failing School Kids to be Held Back in SD Schools

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Aired 4/19/09

First and third grade students who are struggling academically in San Diego public schools will be held back another year under a revised district plan. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.  

San Diego Unified held back failing eighth grade students for the first time last year. It was the district's first attempt to make sure teenagers are academically prepared for their first year of high school.  

The district now wants to hold first and third grade students to the same standard. Officials say five- and eight-year-old kids who do not show improvement in reading and math after summer school will be held back another year.

School Superintendent Terry Grier says it costs more than $2 million to expand the program. He believes that's money well spent.   

Grier: Yes, we do have to spend some additional resources on these young people because its either that or its their last best chance.

Grier says first, third, and eighth grades are crucial academic years in a student's life. District officials say the new plan takes effect next school year.

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News. 

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