The High Cost of Grade Retention
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Alternatives to Grade Retention
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Grade retention refers to the practice of keeping a child in the same grade for more than one year, typically because of poor school performance. In most cases, parents and educators retain students because they have not mastered the skills needed to be successful at the next grade level. The rule of thumb for retention is the younger, the better.
Once students reach fourth grade, it becomes virtually impossible for retention to be a positive thing. There are always exceptions but, overall, retention should be primarily limited to early elementary school. There are so many factors that teachers need to look at in a retention decision. Research shows that retention isn’t the best plan for most kids. Academics are only one thing to think about when considering retention.
You can talk to your child’s school about all the options before making a decision. Holding kids back a grade—also known as “retention”—isn’t common. Repeating a grade is often stigmatizing for children, many of whom tend to brand themselves as failures; in fact, studies show being held back can be the stress equivalent of losing a parent. How parents frame unavoidable retention can make all the difference in a child’s acceptance of it: DO.
DON’T. Ideally, no. Repeating a grade―also known as “grade retention” ―has not been shown to help children learn.
Children won’t outgrow learning and attention issues by repeating a grade. In fact, repeating a grade may contribute to long-term issues with low self-esteem, as well as emotional or social difficulties. Has the idea of your child repeating a grade come up with the school? There are a number of things to consider when you talk about retention (or “staying behind”). Take a look at these pros and cons.
Keep in mind that kids won’t outgrow learning. But in the other grades, parents have the right to request retention, but if the school or the district don’t agree to it, that wouldn’t happen. Parents cannot just request retention for their kids on their own.
Here’s what Chau recommended for parents: It’s critical to communicate with the teacher throughout the school year. It also depends on what grade the child is currently enrolled in. For example, when a Florida public school child is in third grade and set to advance to fourth grade, the state of Florida gives much more power to school districts in making a decision to hold that child back. In fact, according to the Massachusetts School Psychologists Association, there are many consequences with regards to grade repetition which states ” retained children have more problematic social and emotional function, more conduct problems, lower self-images and negative images about school ”.
Opting Out Increases the Chances for Third Grade Retention. Success by Third Grade beats Third Grade Retention or opting-out every time.. 3rd Graders with a learning disability or dyslexia often have average to above average intelligence.
With the right help, they should be able to do well enough on a Common Core Assessment or the Florida Standards Assessment to be promoted to 4th grade.
List of related literature:
|from Encyclopedia of School Psychology|
|from Encyclopedia of Special Education: A Reference for the Education of Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Disabilities and Other Exceptional Individuals|
|from Early Reading Assessment: A Practitioner’s Handbook|
|from Encyclopedia of Adolescence|
|from Affect Regulation Training: A Practitioners’ Manual|
|from A Mind At A Time: How Every Child Can Succeed|
|from Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children|
|from The Fluent Reader: Oral Reading Strategies for Building Word Recognition, Fluency, and Comprehension|
|from Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses|
|from Handbook of Causal Analysis for Social Research|