Once students enter the middle level they have learned the school game. Many students know they will advance to the next grade no matter what their achievement. What if students were allowed to work at their own pace in a blended learning environment? This would differentiate the learning experience for ALL students. Students will advance when they have mastered the standards, not by the end of the "school year". This approach to school will allow for teachers to spend more time with individuals in need of the most instruction. Advanced students will move quickly through content and be working on the next set of standards. This method would also allow students that are absent to capture their learning at their own pace instead of feeling rushed to catch up.
School years would not have defined beginning or end. Students would start where they are in relationship to the standards. When they get it they will move on. All individuals grow at their own rate, this method would respect students growth rates and allow learning to happen in each individuals time table.