Boston students who flunk ninth-grade English or math become “freshmores” or “sophmen.” They repeat the classes they failed while going on in other classes. Most will need five years to complete high school.
Clustered in tiny English classes, students who struggled with reading during their freshman year thoughtfully dissect Shakespeare and the autobiography of Frederick Douglass.
These 15- and 16-year-olds, students of Another Course to College, a Boston public high school, are a new breed of students in the city. They have been placed in a special transitional year between ninth and tenth grade because they flunked freshman math or English.
At some schools, half the students who should be sophomores are freshmores.