Don’t pass students until they are ready
For months we have read about the failures of the Benton Harbor school district. The best plan for Benton Harbor is widely known by almost everyone but is neither publicly stated nor considered by politicians. Retain every third-grade student in the third grade until he or she can learn enough to pass standard third-grade tests. This way every student will be prepared for and will have a chance to achieve fourth-grade skills. And so on. Then, and only then, every student entering high school will be equipped with the skills needed for academic success.
It is well known that parental support is essential for learning success. Perhaps the parents of repeat third-graders should be made to financially contribute at least half of the expense for the remedial education of their children. That would certainly get parents involved as is necessary.