Tag Archives: Birmingham Board of Education

City Hall — Kincaid Weighs in on “No Pass, No Play” Policy




January 27, 2005 

Last fall the Birmingham Board of Education temporarily dropped its controversial “no pass, no play” policy that denies students the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities if they fail to maintain at least a 70 grade average in each class. Area coaches had vehemently protested the policy, with criticism focusing on the lack of such restrictions in other state education systems. The Alabama High School Athletic Association has a less severe requirement that requires students to maintain a grade average of 70 in four core courses and two electives.

Birmingham Mayor Bernard Kincaid is dubious about the policy’s reinstatement on the recommendation of Birmingham School Superintendent Dr. Wayman Shiver “unless and until, in my mind, [Shiver] can show some increase in academic performance with the institution of [the policy].” Kincaid pointed out that other school systems do not employ such constraints. “All around us we have Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, and Hoover rated in the top five school systems in the state, [and they] don’t have that restriction,” said Kincaid. “Now [Shiver] might say we need that, we might need a performance enhancer for our athletes that they [other school systems] don’t necessarily need. But he has, in my mind, not made that linkage. He just wants to do it because it’s more restrictive.”


Kincaid added that the Birmingham school system is already losing students to other systems. “We’re fighting like the dickens to keep them from gravitating to Mountain Brook, Vestavia, Homewood, and Hoover,” said Kincaid. “I haven’t seen the value of [Shiver's] argument yet. He might have some reasons that have not been put on the table yet, but the reasons that are on the table just don’t satisfy me yet.”

A vote by the school board approving the policy’s reinstatement was postponed at the January 11 meeting of the board, with board members complaining that a return to the policy after the 2004 football season had finished would be unfair to students participating in winter and spring activities, which include not only athletics but band and chorale participation as well. Kincaid doubts that the policy will return. “I wish [Shiver] luck in an election year,” said the Mayor. “I think enough parents out there will raise enough cain in the individual districts that the board members are just not going to go along with it.” &