No Pass No Play

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No Pass No Play is a term denoting a Texas public education policy. Under No Pass No Play students must pass all their school courses to be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities such as athletics or music.


In 1984, then-Governor Mark White appointed Dallas businessman Ross Perot to head up a commission to study public education reform in Texas. As a result of the study "No Pass No Play" was enacted as part of a series of reforms included in House Bill 72, which was enacted by the Texas Legislature and took effect in 1984 under the direction of White.[citation needed] The No Pass No Play rule stipulates that Texas public school students who participate in extracurricular activities MUST achieve a passing grade (70% or higher, 60% or higher for Pre-AP, GT or AP courses) each six-week grading period in order to qualify to continue participating in extracurricular activities such as athletics, band, and orchestra. If students receive at least one failing grade on their report card during a given six-week grading period, they are forbidden or ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities until the failing grade(s) have been improved to passing levels. No Pass No Play affects all students involved in extracurricular activities equally in all school districts. Some other states have followed Texas's example by instituting their own versions of No Pass No Play in order to improve student academic performance. However, the law is a cause for concern among many coaches and other extracurricular instructors. They believe that physical activity boosts students' morale and confidence, enabling them to do well in their core studies.[citation needed]

The rule went into effect between semesters of the 1984-1985 school year. At the Houston Independent School District, the percentages of failing report card grades for all high school campuses decreased from 16 percent to 13 percent. 23 of the district's 26 high schools had decreases in "F" grades.[1]

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  1. ^ Hunt, Dianna. "Fewer failing grades since start of no-pass rule." Houston Chronicle. Saturday June 29, 1985. Section 1, Page 22. Retrieved on December 8, 2011.

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