A Literature Review of School Practices to Overcome School Failure
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The age/grade model of classroom and school organization emerged in the mid-19th century and has since become the standard approach to schooling across Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Schools are composed of classes (and classrooms) of age/grade students. Students advance through grades, generally associated with an age, and classes are organized to deliver a grade of instruction. Promotion in the age/grade model is not guaranteed, meaning students can also fail to advance. One indication that failure is an outcome can be found in the OECD‟s 2010 Education at a Glance, which reports that 22 of 26 OECD member countries had first time upper secondary graduation rates above 70% and only a small number had rates of 90% or greater (OECD, 2010b). According to OECD statistics, this means that (on average) 20% of students at the end of four years of secondary school in nearly all OECD countries fail or opt to leave. In other words, 20% of students have not acquired the skills, knowledge or credits necessary to graduate from secondary education. The outcome of failure in the age/grade model has served as a method of sorting students in educational systems (OECD, 2009). Further, the sorting of students through failing or advancing in educational systems has long been accepted as a satisfactory educational model. Since the 1960s, however, the view that student failure is necessary or inevitable has come under increasing scrutiny. An emerging viewpoint across OECD countries is that education systems must provide a successful educational outcome for all students.