Grade Retention Research Paper

Critics warn that students may be stigmatized or face reduced academic expectations.

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But retention has been the subject of longstanding debate.

Those in favor believe that low-performing students stand to benefit from the opportunity for more instruction and services.

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.

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). 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.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.Although these initial benefits faded over time, students who had been held back entered high school performing at a higher level relative to their grade level than similar students who’d been promoted.They needed less remediation, and they earned higher grades while enrolled.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. “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.


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