Although the no pass/no play rule has the best of intentions, many educators state that few, if any, students have benefited from this unjust rule. It takes away a source of achievement and self-esteem, which only leads to increasing anger, frustration, and hopelessness.
The academic requirement for the no pass/no play rule states that if a student receives a grade below 70 in any academic class at the end of the grading period may not participate in any extracurricular activities for at least three school weeks. But even if a student fails academically or drops out of school, they should at least have hope that they are good at something. People DO make a living in music, art, athletics, and many skills we consider as “extra-curricular.”
The message sent from the no pass/no play rule is “what you are good at isn’t important or valuable enough.” It recognizes and makes students aware of their inadequacies and takes away the only sense of achievement they have.
There are better ways to help guarantee students pass in school. Some examples include periodic testing to ensure the quality of education, and mandatory testing for everyone prior to graduation. Some of these have already taken place in some schools. But art, music, and athletics should be treated as if they are as important as math, science, and history because they are. For many kids they are even more important in both school and life.