Research indicates that “the rate of retention has increased by approximately 40% in the last 20 years with as many as 15% of all American students held back each year and 30-50% held back at least once before ninth grade” (Dawson, 1998). Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American education research Association, San Francisco, CA.
These discouraging statistics pose copious problems within a school system.
Such policies aim to provide incentives for educators and parents to help low-performing students improve their skills before third grade.
More work is needed to understand the extent to which these policies achieve that goal, he says.
Predictors of early grade retention among children in the United States.
School Consultation: A review of research on issues unique to the school environment.Grades retention is an issue which requires a prodigious amount of examination and should be considered carefully and thoroughly. Formally, grade retention is defined as the practice of requiring a student who has been in a given grade level for a full school year to return at that level for a subsequent year (Jackson, 1975). In fact, it improves their preparedness for high school and their performance while enrolled.Roughly 10 percent of children in the United States are retained at least once between kindergarten and eighth grade, West writes.Unofficially, the practice is employed as a tool to enhance the academic or developmental growth for students who are unable to meet the curriculum requirements due to a variety of reasons. These reasons can include decreased cognitive functioning, physical immaturity, social-emotional difficulties and failure to pass standardized assessments. Does repeating a grade help — or hurt — a student’s long-term academic progress?New research from Harvard Graduate School of Education professor Martin West tells a nuanced and evidence-based story about grade retention, finding that — contrary to critics’ fears — repeating third grade does not reduce students’ chances of completing high school.“At least in Florida, we can now definitively show the absence of negative effects."Test-based retention in third grade improved student performance in Florida.“It is important to note that we are not saying that the students who were retained in Florida were clearly better off as a result,” says West.For example, the results showed that third grade retention had no effect on the likelihood that a student would enroll in post-secondary education.