Our system had the policy of not passing in middle school on,, it didn't work.
We ended up with a group of almost 16 year olds still in middle school,
causing a lot of disruption and ending up being passed on in a block. What
did it accomplish besides giving the teacher a lot of discipline problems and
eventually 18 year old sophmore dropouts?
On your sketchbooks.. have you tried having the students pass them in
periodically, to be merely checked off for progress and just some encouraging
comments? The positve always seems to work better for me than the punisment.