Grade Retention

A child getting left behind in school or having to repeat a grade is unfortunately more common than one may think. The good news is that research shows the percentage of children left behind has decreased from 3% to 1.5% from 2005 to 2010. This percentage continues to decrease due to the No Child Left Behind Act. But what happens when a child is held back, or retained, and doesn’t deserve to be? Or if a child goes on to the next grade level even when they aren’t ready?

Reasons for retainment

Children are usually retained in the same grade due to internal and external factors. Internal factors include struggles with progressing on skills or stagnating performance levels. External factors include learning disabilities, the learning environment, and trouble at home.

Internal factors can be helped by tutoring and summer school, while external factors can require more assistance. If a student has a learning disability, appropriate measures must be taken to provide suitable education for that child. If a child is having trouble at home and can’t seem to focus in the learning environment, then it’s important to meet with the student to determine his or her needs and help guide and motivate them.

Is it effective?

Repeating the same grade again doesn’t always help the student reach necessary achievements. In fact, sometimes it does the exact opposite. A study done in 2014 concluded that children who repeat a grade between kindergarten and fifth grade are 60% less likely to graduate high school than kids in similar circumstances. A child having to repeat a grade can also have a lasting effect on their confidence in the long-term.

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