The "solution" to the immense rate of failure experienced by today's schoolchildren devised by the school board fills me with a sense of helpless outrage. The real victims of this bureaucratic cop-out will be, of course, the children themselves.
Certainly it's a crime that there is such rampant failure in basic educational skills. But rather than solve the crime, the school board has decided instead to destroy the evidence.
Doing away with the "F" grade in the first three grades as a remedy to early failure borders on the psychotic. There are no more "failures," after all, that must mean our school system is a success, right?
"F" sends a message to a child--and just as important, his parent(s)--that there is a basic standard of performance that is not being met. Once this reality is faced (and that's what grades are really all about), steps can be taken to deal with the situation. Perhaps after-school sessions, or tutoring by an older sibling, etc.