North Carolina's Charlotte-Mecklenburg district has focused on improving its high-school graduation rate but still faces challenges, primarily among minority students. Educators are debating whether to hold students back who do not pass state exams. Students who repeat a grade are more likely to drop out of school than their peers who were promoted, research shows. Instead, failing students should advance to the next grade and be given assistance to close the gap with their peers, according to the state School Psychology Association.

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