For 40,000 kids in Florida every year, ninth grade is where it all falls apart. No other grade offers such an honest view into what schools are really like, and by extension, so brutally forces us to confront the flip side: How we raise our kids. Yet recent education laws now demand that schools ensure that all students succeed, no matter how warped their brains, no matter how Jerry Springer their homes.
Ninth grade is where it all falls apart. In Florida, nearly 40,000 ninth-graders are held back each year, enough to fill every school in Sarasota County.