New Memphis City Schools deputy superintendent of academic operations Irving Hamer calls 9,000 elementary students a "ticking bomb."
They are students who, during K-5, have already been held back by at least one grade.
"I can practically say categorically that these students do not graduate," Hamer told the MCS board at its most recent meeting.
Add to that the almost 7,000 students who get held back during middle school, and the almost 10,000 that get held back in high school, and the district is looking at 22 percent of its students being overage by the time they reach 12th grade.
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