Part One: Florida gets JJ and Michael up for school, but it takes some time. JJ says he was dreaming that he was kissing the Supremes, and not one at a time. Florida says that if they love him, they'll be back tonight. It is the day that JJ and Thelma get their report cards for the end of the year and Florida asks JJ what grades he expects. He says that he'll get an A in art but the others are iffy, especially Spanish, which he describes as 'comme ci, comme ca.' Thelma says that is French and JJ says that should give an idea how he's doing in Spanish. Florida says that she hopes his grades will get him out of the 11th grade. After the kids leave to get ready for school, James comes home from work. He says that he is being considered for a foreman's job for the day shift, possibly meaning no more overnight shifts. The kids come back in for breakfast. James asks the kids about their report cards. Michael shows his: all A's. Thelma says she should get A's and B's. James asks JJ, and he says it's his turn to say the blessing. He then asks God for 'a little boost in the algebra department.' James says that he dreamed of the day JJ would go to college, but he never figured on 'a little stumbling block called high school.' Florida says that JJ always comes through at the end. JJ and Thelma make a bet: if he passes, JJ gets to go into the bathroom first for a month; if not, he does the dishes for a month. Later, Willona tells Florida about a wild date she is going on that night. She has a strapless dress; when Florida asks what holds it up, she replies, 'City Ordinance 705.' She says she meat a former Bears player at a new club she joined called Alimony Anonymous. The club is for divorced people with a limited membership. As she leaves Michael and Thelma come in. Thelma shows her report card: one B and the rest A's. JJ then comes in all diconsolate, until he gives Florida his report card: and A in art and the rest C's. He yells that he faked everyone out. James comes out and JJ shows him the card; however, Florida sees he failed his history final exam. She asks him a question in history and when he doesn't get it right, she asks an algebra question about how long it would take four men to dig a ditch. When he doensn't get that right either, they realize that he didn't earn the C's. James suggests that they go down the school.
Part Two: Florida insists that she and James talk to the principal first. JJ demands that he go in there, but withdraws it when James says, 'Shut up!' They talk to the principal, Mr. Kirkman, who is surprsied about their reluctance to accept JJ's grades. He explains to them that they don't have the money and facilites that 'privileged areas' have and that if he doesn't pass a large percentage of his graduating class, then his budget gets cut, which would cut the teaching staff, which would make the learning experience suffer. He says that they have to understand the system: they have to push the kids along and he would help JJ by giving him a diploma which would help him get a job. James says that he's had jobs all his life, but he wants an opportunity for JJ, which won't happen without an education. Florida says that either JJ gets a good education or they want to know why. Mr. Kirkman asks if JJ will agree to be left back in the 11th grade and James says that he will. Florida says that he has to choose. James reminds him that he has pride. JJ surprises his parents by saying he will go to the 12th grade. Later, Florida says that she and James are disappointed in him. JJ says that he may do good in the 12th grade, and that they may ask him to do the graduation speech. James comes back in and tells the family that he didn't get the foreman job because even though he was qualified to have the job, when he had to put on the application why he thought he was the right man for the job, he couldn't put the words together. James said the job was a chance and mt too many chances come to someone who only has a sixth grade education. Florida tells him at least he is getting turned down for better jobs. JJ says that he was too proud to be left behind from his classmates, but that he will study hard, pay attention in class, do his homework, and ask for help if he needs it. James tells him not to blow an opportunity because he can't put the right words together.
Epilogue: Thelma and Michael are watching TV. Florida tells them to turn it down because JJ is studying algebra. Thelma asks him the question of the ditch diggers and JJ says eight weeks, which is wrong. Florida asks why it would take so long. JJ says that one of the men would be Ned the wino and it would take that long to dig and pick Ned up.