Students learn at different levels. It doesn’t matter if you are a child or an adult. Some students in one school year may gain two grades of Math skills while they may need two years to earn one year of English skills.
I think it makes more sense to allow students to learn at their own pace. Certainly, they need to meet specific requirements to graduate but does it really matter if a student earns a high school degree in 12 years or 13 years, or for that matter in 10 or 11 years? In fact, I think when a student is “held back” it probably does more harm than good.
Government gives us much rhetoric. Standardized tests will fix everything! These tests are analogous to telling the football coach and team that you need to win eight of your ten games. It doesn’t matter if your players have the skills to compete in their league, or if they have a practice field, coaching staff or football equipment. The measurement of success is to win at least eight of ten games.
Everybody, teachers, parents, and students want to succeed. Let’s build systems that lead to success.