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Grade Retention

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Today’s focus in education is on high expectations and accountability. All students are required to meet or exceed grade level standards, if a student does not exhibit the requirements then the school, teachers and parents are faced with a dilemma. The student could be promoted to the next grade, with the hope that the student with catch up. This is called social promotion, which is a practice of promoting a student to the next grade regardless of skill mastery in the belief that it will promote self-esteem. An alternative is to hold back the student in that grade. Because of our current educational environment, grade retention has been making a comeback. Grade retention, grade repetition, or flunking is the process of having a student repeat…show more content…
However, opponents and researchers of retention suggested that grade retentions has a negative effect such as, low self-esteem, overall poor academic performance, and an increased likelihood of dropping out of school. (Alexander, Entwisle, & Dauber, 2001; Beebe-Frankenberger, Bocian, MacMillian & Gresham, 2004; McCoy & Reynolds, 1999) The available research on retention is enormous. Hundreds of studies have been conducted over the last century focusing on the elementary grades and the long term effect of retention or promotion. Each study ask different questions, look at difference consequences, and untimely comes to different conclusions. It is very complicated in most cases to determine whether the students in the study would have performed better if they has been promoted instead of…show more content…
Currently, several states, including Texas and several large school districts, like Chicago, retain students in grades that are a cumulative level of each component of the primary school system, fifth and eighth grade. Lorence, et al. (2002) studied the effect of Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) that bases promotion in grades fifth, eighth and tenth grade, however grades three through eight took the assessment. Tenth grade students were required to pass reading, mathematics and writing sections of the TAAS, as well as their course-exit exams, before graduating from high school. The findings suggested that retaining third grade students who failed the TAAS helped raise their test scores over the time from third to fifth grade more than the practice of social promotion. However the results also revealed that, on average, many of the promoted low-achieving third grade students eventually passed the TAAS reading test in a later
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