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Repeating a grade: The pros and cons

Grade retention or social promotion -- which is best? Read what the experts have to say.

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By Colleen Stump, Ph.D.

Has anyone at school talked to you about retaining your child in the same grade? Have you been thinking about whether your child should be promoted on to the next grade level?

Reasons for retention

Grade retention is a very difficult and emotionally charged decision. It may be considered when a child:

  • Has significant struggles making progress in reading, writing or math
  • Fails to reach performance levels expected for promotion to the next grade
  • Appears to be "immature" and "young" for her age

In many schools today, tests are being used to determine whether a child will go on to the next grade or repeat the same grade. With the current push for high educational standards, more and more kids are facing the possibility of retention because they're not achieving test scores required for promotion. Retention is viewed as a way to ensure greater accountability — to guarantee the school is doing its job. In some cases, it's the new "get tough" policy to stop or reduce "social promotion" — automatically passing a child on to the next grade at the end of each school year.

Outcomes of retention

The idea of giving a child another year to "catch-up" and develop needed skills sounds like a positive alternative. However, research shows that outcomes for kids who are retained generally are not positive. In its 2003 "Position Statement on Student Grade Retention," the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) reports:

  • Academic achievement of kids who are retained is poorer than that of peers who are promoted.
  • Achievement gains associated with retention fade within two to three years after the grade repeated.
  • Kids who are identified as most behind are the ones "most likely harmed by retention."
  • Retention often is associated with increased behavior problems.
  • Grade retention has a negative impact on all areas of a child's achievement (reading, math, and language) and socio-emotional adjustment (peer relationships, self-esteem, problem behaviors and attendance).
  • Students who are retained are more likely to drop out of school compared to students who were never retained. In fact, grade retention is one of the most powerful predictors of high school dropout.
  • Retained students are more likely to have poorer educational and employment outcomes during late adolescence and early adulthood.
  • Retention is more likely to have benign or positive impact when students are not simply held back, but receive specific remediation to address skill and/or behavioral problems and promote achievement and social skills.

Kids with learning disabilities

Many kids with learning disabilities (LD) really struggle when taking district-adopted and state-adopted achievement tests. These tests require students to:

  • Concentrate for long periods of time
  • Work independently
  • Persevere when faced with material they struggle to read and understand
  • Record their answers using "bubble sheets"
  • Work within specific time limits

Test results may not show what your child actually knows and can do. Instead, they may tell you how well she does on this type of test. When test scores are used as the only basis for whether a child will be promoted to the next grade, kids with LD can be at a great disadvantage.

Factors to consider

So, the big question is how you decide if retention is right for your child. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Academic

  • In what area(s) is your child struggling the most — reading, writing, math, science, social studies, social skills or others? Is it just one subject or most of them?
  • What have you and the teachers done this year to help your child develop necessary skills?
  • What has worked and helped your child learn? What hasn't worked this year?
  • If your child were to spend another year in the same grade, what type of instruction would she receive in the areas she finds most difficult? Would a new teaching approach or new materials be used, or would the teacher do the same thing as last year? How do you know that "doing it over again" would make a difference?
  • What level of performance would you set for your child to achieve if she were retained? What changes would you need to see to be satisfied that retention was effective?
  • Realistically, will your child be able to meet the required standards to be promoted next year? What kind of change are you expecting in one year? Is that enough to make the retention worthwhile?

Social/emotional

  • Is behavior a concern?
  • How will your child feel about being retained? Will she be more motivated to learn and try, or will she be embarrassed and further withdraw from learning?
  • What will happen to your child's peer supports and friendships? How will they be affected by retention?

Alternatives to retention

The National Association of School Psychologists favors "promotion plus" interventions designed to address the specific factors that place students at risk for school failure. With that in mind, here are questions to ask yourself about alternatives to grade retention:

  • Have you worked with your child's teacher to identify accommodations that could increase her success in the classroom? If interventions are working, will they be continued?
  • Is your child receiving extra support? Does she get one-on-one or small group help to understand new ideas and complete work?
  • If your child receives special education services, are her IEP goals and objectives/benchmarks related to the standards established by the school? If not, the IEP Team may need to revise them to focus on outcomes leading to promotion to the next grade.
  • What type of curriculum materials and instructional strategies does the teacher use? How effective are they with your child?
  • Could your child benefit from one-on-one tutoring or counseling?
  • Are options such summer school, extended day or extended year available?
  • Does your child resist your help with schoolwork? If so, find alternatives — have a sister or brother help with homework, get help from a high school or college student.
  • Does your child participate in the school's homework club or other school programs that provide support?
  • Would your child's participation in extracurricular activities, such as soccer, dance, scouts or choir, help her make friends and become more motivated to do better in school?

The big picture

Before retaining your child, carefully consider your responses to the above questions. Read some of the literature on retention, and talk with your child and other family members. Speak to the teacher and other school staff who know your child. Talk to the principal about state law and district policy on retention to discover who makes the final decision and what the appeal process is. If your child receives special education services, be sure the IEP team is involved.

Whatever is decided, carefully monitor your child's academic and behavioral performance during the next year. Be sure to work closely with her teachers to ensure that you and the school are giving her the support she needs.

Colleen Shea Stump, Ph.D., served as Chairperson of the Special Education Department at San Francisco State University, and was a professor at SFSU for 8 years. She currently works as Coordinator of Program/Staff Development and Compliance for the Seattle Public Schools.


Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

05/29/2012:
"I am struggling with being forced to suggest retention for a student and it's the reason I'm reading research studies, articles and notes from parents who have "been there" with their children. I'm not a fan of retention. However, there is so much pressure in schools for chn. to "achieve" with little to no notation of the the increased academic expectations at lower grades. I am now teaching things to Kinder students that I taught in 1st-4th grades in years past. Finland appears to have no problem with educating students and have tremendous success w/o standardized testing. I have taught in a country which had the second highest literacy in the world next to Finland. We had zero textbooks, zero standardized tests until high school, shorter school days and a longer school year. Teachers, at that time, were only 2 year trained but their schools were Teacher Training Colleges. There was no retention and it's not because the schools I taught in were in upper class areas. In fact! , they were in far less affluent areas. One of the schools had a population with 43 primary languages other than English. What I learned there has never been fathomed in the US, I am grateful for the posted comments from parents and will bring all of the researched articles and parent comments to the parents of those children being considered for retention. I want parents to have as many "real" facts as possible w/o having to depend on the school's advice as the only consideration for their child. Thank you! "
04/18/2012:
"I struggled through out grade and high school. I think I had ADD. I flunked 6th grade. I was already the oldest kid in the class and keeping me back a year did not help me. I also meant that I was 19 1/2 when I graduated high school. Senior year was one of the worst years of my life. I wasn't suppose to be there. Kids who are struggling should get help or go to summer school. No good came from keeping me in secondary school until I was almost out of my teens. "
03/19/2012:
"This is a bunch of hogwash! I retained my child, because he was started in Kindergarten at 4...4 years old...really are you kidding me, that is absurd...no wonder some of these public schools are suffering from being over populated...he was to young and he was retained with a fight from me...and I think, it benefited him EXPONENTIALLY...do more research. "
03/9/2012:
"I am a mother going through the same situation as you. My son has been struggling too. He is 6 years old. He is the youngest in his class. He was barely the age at the time he was accepted. I too spend 1-2 hours working with my child. His teacher even suggested that I put him back a grade. She said his reading is a level 3 and it should be a level 12. I have experience, being put back a grade myself. I know what its like. My parents had me do kindergarten twice. To this day, I hated that decision. I know my parents were only doing what was good for me. But it did more damage then good to me. I am 39 years old and I still feel that pain. Many people would say, its been years, why does it bother you now. When I was put back, a year, it started a chain reaction in myself. Throughout my years, I always fault behind socially and mentally. What upsets me the most, is that teachers suggest you put your child back when they have never experience it before themselves. You give me one teacher that was put back a grade in their younger years to suggest to another parent that is OK. I know this, because a teacher that experience what I experience would of never suggested it. Your doing a great job in working with your child and you are showing the love needed to encourage your child. No matter how hard it gets for you. Never give up. I don't believe in putting back a child. I believe some children its OK to work harder with then others. I was one of them. There is just so many hidden problems that the outside world can't begin to understand or see that our children experience in their lifetime. The parents and teachers always seem to know better. But on this choice, I say NO. The the truth is, Your child has more to offer then you will ever know. You just have to dig for it. "
03/5/2012:
"Your article is "spot on"! More experts need to speak up like this. Having gone through the frustration of advocating for a child with ADD I know the agony and sense of loss a parent experiences when he/she knows the school is just not doing enough for his/her child. The "arms in the air" attitude the system has adopted is definitely not the best approach for the child. Teachers are overwhelmed by the amount of paper work they are required to do to maintain their jobs and children at risk of failing tend to be passed on to to other departments that are just as overwhelmed with accountability. They don't look at the whole child. They try to fix whatever they perceive as "wrong" with the child and recommend retention. It seems an easy way to solve their "problem". The law demands every child be educated equally. It is their right. It is the system's duty. We all need to advocate for the children and the return to the "little schoolhouse house" approach to education.! Let the teachers teach. Let them use their God-given talent to do their best for the children and let "big brother" go do whatever "big brother" needs to do to protect the integrity of the WHOLE CHILD. Thank you for your dedication. "
02/21/2012:
" I am for this topic and it is infact true that it is hard for moms and students repeating the grade, but, many adults go back to school don't they? The adults were once kids who have not been retained for their failing grades, or lack or learning. You don't want your child to be dragging on highshcool and collage without knowing how to read or write, without knowing how to comprehend and fail ! Learning is an ablilty, and you want to make the best out of it when you are young becuase that is when most of your brain is growing.. Trust me, if you want your child to be a garbagmen, it really pays off when you work hard now. "
02/7/2012:
"Sometimes kids need to be shamed, we are creating a generation or children who dont know how to deal with failure. In life we don't always succeed, failure is a part of learning and now we are afraid of damaging their psyche. We are dooming our country by grooming our children to be mentally and emotionaly weak. "
02/2/2012:
"i dissagree, cuz i hav repeated a grade (5th). it was hard for me. im in 8th grade right now, and i dont want to repeat a grade again. if i repeat a grade again, i will think of dropping out of school. and i still hav learning problems and it does not work. it dont help u. trust me been there!?. "
12/8/2011:
"Are there any other option for a 17 year old who has failed a grade 10. "
11/10/2011:
"My heart goes out to all the moms that are struggling with pro's and con's of having your child repeat a grade. In my opinion it was the best choice i ever made for my daughter. Dont get me wrong it was very emotional for me and those closes to my daughter. Especially my daughter.(so i thought)I paid for my childs education,intending for my daughter to get the best education. She was in private school for kindergarten and first grade, i am not gonna bash all private schools but my expirience was not the best and my daughter is now paying for it. I noticed my daughter was reversing letters, and she was learning by memory not really understanding. (If that makes any sence) Bottom line my little girl was struggling and it was killing me and her dad. I noticed early on that my child was struggling, but everytime i tried to get help the school seemed to always have an excuse. ie: it's too soon to tell, she's a young 6. Whatever that means,lets waite a little longer. When they fin! ally saw what I saw, months earlier it was too late. So mom you know child best. If you feel that your child needs to be evaluated make it happen. As a result late into the school year they decided without testing that it would be best for my daughter to repeat first grade. Yes, I was angry; i wasnt angry that my child may have struggles because it is what it is. I was angry because i could of and tried to get help for my child. Needless to say my child no longer attends that school. She attends our local public school that is number one in our state. "and it's free" lol When my daughter started her new school they put her in 2nd grade, she was in a class with her best friend and other children she played with daily, three days into new school, the private school sent their reconmendation to the new school. I was called into the school asap. The coucilor let me read what the private school recommended and i imediatly broke down in tears. Reading the schools recomendations w! as like reading about a child that I didnt know. while in this! meeting i asked to see the results of my daughters testing while at the old school, the same test i asked the school for and was told "she did great, nothing to worry about" In my attempts to get what i feel is very important the Dr. was almost running to his car like i was gonna take his wallet lol (got to make some lite of this terrible mishap). Come to find out testing was never done. Saddest part was that the new school has to by law follow the prior schools recomendations. So I had the hard task of breaking my daughters heart and telling her she is gonna be taking out of the second grade. She cried, it was such a sad cry. I know at that at that time she thought she was dumb. She cried and said now everybody will make fun of me. Thank God she had alot of support and a really good best friend that loves my daughter anyhow. Parents if this happens do alot of talking let them know that they can talk to you if they feel sad. Monday was sad when she had to go into first gra! de, but the sunshined when she came home. My princess was beaming with confidence and now my daughter is excelling. I feel that its best to keep a child back early on, it builds confidence. "
10/26/2011:
"Well, while it is true that retaining your child won't harm them if there is a strong enough support system, it's also worth noting that there simply aren't many schools that have the resources to provide that kind of support. Also, it depends on the childs outlook. The fact is, children are trained to see being held back as a shameful, horrible thing. There is no sense in expecting them to react any other way. "
10/25/2011:
"I completely agree with this article, holding your child back a grade ends up hurting them way more than helping them. My son Christian really struggled in third grade. He was failing all of his assignments and was at a first grade reading level. My husband and I tried to help him, but our efforts just weren’t enough. When his teacher recommended that he repeat the grade, we didn’t know what to do. We agonized for weeks over this difficult decision. We wanted to give him the best chance to catch up, but didn’t want him to feel like we thought he was a failure. In the end, we decided to have Christian repeat the grade. It was not the right decision. Now my son is a 19 year old junior, who still struggles with his grades and hates school. I feel guilty, and can’t help but wonder how things would be different if we hadn’t retained him. "
10/11/2011:
"Actually, the truth of the matter is that if there is a strong support system in place for the child, as well as implementing the process of critical thinking, the child will learn and accept limitations, understand how to enhance those areas of strength, and learn new strategies for the weak areas. This positive outlook towards retention will create a self-effacacious child, if the support is strong and the resources are right. Thank you. "
10/4/2011:
"All parents want their kid to excel, but some parents might be taking this to far. A new trend in the U.S. is the act of “redshirting� elementary age students for either academic or athletic reasons. “Redshirting� is commonly used in college sports to prolong a players four year eligibility. Now many parents are keeping their children back in school so that their kid can be ahead of his or her classmates. All parents have to say to the school is “My child needs to be held back for more social development.� and the child is now almost permanently behind his or her same age peers academically. But, the child is also set to be ahead of his or her same grade peers. According to MSNBC.com kids who have been held back are likely to score six points better on standardized math tests and five points better on standardized reading tests in kindergarten which is actually a pretty big gap. It’s not that these children that have been held back are smarter than the rest, they just score better because they have more life experience to draw upon. Oh yeah and that gap, it is almost always erased, sometimes as early as third grade. Also according to MSNBC.com, forty years ago, ninety-six percent of six year olds were enrolled in first grade, now only eighty-four percent are enrolled in first grade. We didn’t lose that twelve percent, those are the kids who are now enrolled in kinder! garten instead. If parents keep holding their kids back more and more, the parents who want to get ahead will be holding their kid back for even more time. If the trend continues middle schoolers will be driving themselves to school! The reason that youth sports are organized by grade is so kids are competing against other kids that are similar in size and ability. Unfortunately, all sports except basketball and football are by grade instead of age. Another thing is that in some AAU leagues kids that are almost twelve can play in a ten and under league if they are being held back. Many school teams across the country are filled with kids that are supposed to be the grade above the one they are in. There may not be much of a difference between a thirty year old and a thirty-two year old, but there are huge differences between a ten year old and a twelve year old. Also, kids that play up on middle school sports teams are often kids that should be in the grade above anyway so they aren’t really playing up at all, they have just been playing down their whole life. That’s why the kids that have been held back are so far ahead of their peers athletically. I don’t think that it is ok for kids to be held back to get ahead of their same grade peers. I know that in some cases it is fine for a kid to be held back if he or she really needs it. But most of the kids that have been held back have no reason to be held back. I don’t think it’s ok because if so many parents decide to hold their children back more other parents will hold their kid back longer and longer and put them farther and farther behind the kids that are the same age. I think that there is no long term gain in holding a child back especially if they are ready because the head start wears off and then the child that has been held back is way behind everyone else his or her age. Plus, if you do it for athletic reasons its just cheating! So, if the child is ready their parents should send the kid to school so that he or she doesn’t have to be behind everyone else his age academically because a good education is probably the most valuable thing in the world. "
10/4/2011:
" Wow it seems to me that people are really against school teachers. Apparently society thinks they do not know what they are doing!!! Here is my question, if teachers are so “dumb� why are we keeping them in our schools?! All you people who think it is an easy job needs to get a life and visit a classroom! You have no clue what goes on in a classroom. It is easy for you to sit in your office and make judgments! You get to work 9-5 and go home and forget about work….poor, poor people!!!!! The thing you have to remember is teachers have bosses too! They are only doing what their bosses say! "
09/21/2011:
"well. i really don't think that schools should be passing on students if they know that they are not specifically ready too move on up too that next grade. parents should also help with the issue. and encourage the child to do their best on the education. "
09/21/2011:
"i think social promotion is not good for school and the work force out side of school "
09/12/2011:
"Student retention is something to think about before taking action. Each child's situation should be considered, because each situation and child is different. There are many aspects to think about before retaining a child. I have a child who is now in the 5th grade and is making A's and B's in her classes and loves school. She is social in school with many friends. When she was in 1st grade she had a teacher that recommended holding her back due to her reading and math skills. My husband and I chose not to retain her because we felt this would harm her emotionally, and the skills she needed for 2nd grade could be worked on during the summer. I did not have to fight the school board, we just stated we would not retain her. "
08/26/2011:
"The biggest problem, especially with public schools, is that they will do whatever they think is easiest and cheapest for them to do. They will do everything in their power to make you believe that it is the right thing to do. Ultimately, they will go as far as strong-arming you into accepting that this is what they have decided to do and you can't do a thing about it. There is no parent/school cooperation any more. I know that there are some schools out there that are the exception to this rule, but most parents will encounter this problem if they question the schools decision about whether or not to hold a student back. The first thing that you have to do is look up your states laws to find out what your rights are in making the final decision, or at least who you can contact to help you mediate with the school. Some examples would be the school board and even all the way up to the district level and higher. You must research the areas listed in articles like this o! ne to make sure you are making the right choice and not just arguing with the school because you don't like hearing what they have to say. In most cases you will find that what your school says is just their opinion. They are not the only ones involved in making the final decision unless you let them. Whether they like it or not, you do have a say. They don't want you to know that. Ultimately, it is up to you to, do your homework, listen to the teachers opinion with an open mind, listen to your student, voice your opinion and be strong when defending yourself and your student. Not to be melodramatic, but your students entire life could ride on making the right decision for him or her and not was is best or easiest for you and/or the school. "
08/9/2011:
"wow i faild 1 once but i still have a queston. what if the teachers wount let u try 2 or help u pass on ?????????????????? n u try every thing "
07/25/2011:
"I personally think that their should be a school for these children of our's my child is very willing to learn, but the school system is not meeting their expectations as far as hands on and goals to obtain , they must be challenged in a way that is expected of the youth of thier time and age ... "
02/16/2011:
"I think it should be optional."
08/27/2010:
"Unfortunately, this article does not make clear the nature of the control group. I don't see how one can identify a group of 'peers' unless some students were retained at random. Isn't it more likely that some were retained because they appeared completely unable to function at a higher level while others were promoted because they appeared, for whatever reason, to stand a better chance. Also, there appear to be no studies at all of the effect which social promotion has on the other students in a class, the ones who worked hard because they were afraid of retention. Moderate anxiety is correlated with superior achievement. Students need to be at least a little concerned about their school work. It is hard to see how one could take homework seriously if no one else does it and everyone passes anyway."
08/26/2010:
"My son was in first grade last year I found out two weeks before school ket out that they wanted to retain him. I feel he is ready to move on to the second grade for many reasons. They act like he should know second grade before he even gets there. They said that he was behind in reading. I feel that he reads just fine for his age and grade level. I had a meeting with the principal, vice principal and the RTI teacher they didn't have to much to say just that they feel he needed to be retained and that they did not have the budget for any extra help for his grade level. this is susposed to be a 5 star school A School that's a bunch of bull. I contacted the school board for help. I also put him in Sylvan cost me alot of money just to teach him what they should have all along. He needed help sounding out words that had the silent sounds in them. They helped him with that and he took a Assesment test and he did very good. Now I am here at the beginning of the school year trying ! to get him in the second grade. I have made arrangements for him to take another assesment test so he can move foward. He had to go to a first grade class for the first day of school when I picked him up it's the first thing he said to me and he was not happy about it. Some people tell me I should have got him a IEP when I asked the school about it they said we do not feel the need because he is progressing but thye want to retain him. I am so fed up. I am putting him in private school. "
07/19/2010:
"My son was retained in first grade ( which I was totally for) it was a good thing he caught up quick as he was having trouble reading and we were trying to get his meds straightend out for his add. Now he just finished third grade and failed math with a 66, I sent him to summer school and he also failed that with a 63. I was so upset but then when we got home I looked at his papers and noticed that some of the ones he only missed 1 or 2 problems on didn't actually have a grade on them, and only 3 of his passing grades were used with his failing grades to come up with his final grade. The teacher said she only took 10 out of 16 grades and all I can do is sit and wonder why she would only take 3 of 7 passing grades and the other 7 would be his lowest ones. If I average all 16 grades then he would have made a 69. If I don't fight this and have him placed in 4th he will be 20 by the time he graduates and his younger sister will surpass him completely. I know he can do it a! nd understands the math he just has problems due to his dr. not wanting to work with me on his medicine. I am at such a loss though as to whether I should let him repeat 3rd or not since I really don't see where it will do him any good. "
07/19/2010:
"I don't think that every child who does 'poorly' academically should be retained or that every child who is behind 'socially' should be retained. It just ...doesn't make sense. For one. I am now 17 years old, a senior in high school. I can easily say that I, indeed failed the first grade. I, however, did not repeat the first grade. My parents moved me into another school so that I could progress. #1. My birthday is in June, so I was VERY young for my grade. It made it even worse that there were others in my class who were 'retained'. They were as much as 2 years ahead of me. So, obviously, I seemed very immature for my grade... even though *I* was in the correct grade. They were the ones who were NOT in the correct grade. On top of that, I had an awful teacher who told me I was dumb. She recommended that I fail first grade in my report card and told my parents that she didn't think that I 'had the intelligence to learn to read.' Mind you, I had never had any delay problems before then. My test results came back worse than what they should have, because she told me that I was going too slowly and to hurry up. The rest of the class was 'waiting on me'. It was NOT a timed test, but I didn't know enough to know that I really could take as long as I needed. So, it seemed as though I was not even on grade level. I, in fact, was reading on a fourth grade level and just happened to inherit bad spelling skills. (My father asks me how to spell things all of the time now!) When I was in second grade, I had absolutely no troubles. I made straight A's. In third grade, I scored in the 99% on my testing. I HIGHLY recommend promoting your child through until at LEAST the fifth grade. By about the fifth grade, your child will understand if they are doing poorly or not and how they can help it. I am SO thankful that my parents did not hold me back."
05/13/2010:
"I do not agree with all findings of the NASP findings, where did they do there studies? on what children. Im considering leaving my youngest child in 5th grade. He is not acedemically preperared to move up or mature enough. I preiously retained my oldest child in 1st grade because he was not reading at the correct level. fought the school to retain him. Now he is a sophomore in H.S. and has been inducted into the National Technical Honor Society. Parents know there children best."
04/23/2010:
"I feel that is wrong to put kids in retention for the possible outcomes"
12/3/2009:
"I have strong feelings against grade repetition because my kindergarten teacher, a tyrant, failed me back in 1967. I was labeled a 'retard' by peers, and I did not graduate from high school until I was 19. As it turned out, my disability was Asperger's Syndrome. I learned to read during my second year of Kindergarten in spite of, not because of, my teacher."
11/9/2009:
"bullying--a mystery or just something nobody wants to talk about? it can drive a kid to tears--and depression and even worse in the later years."
10/27/2009:
"Re: young third grader. My first suggestion is to ask your daughter how she would feel about being retained. She may actually agree with the idea, provided it is approached in a gentle and caring way. I have two boys, both with late birthdays. I did not retain the oldest, though we discussed it due to his emotional maturity. He was bright and successful in academics. He was always the smallest in class which is a disadvantage for boys, never a leader, always a follower. -until high school. He grew, blossomed and went on to play rugby for UC Berkeley and graduate and is doing well! The youngest, attended 2 years of first grade, one at a public school, and one at a private school. He was not happy! He is very bright, and I believe he was bored. Because my older son was still having difficulty, I thought I was doing the right thing! I would not have retained him, had I been able to see the future. He was a leader, but not always in the right direction- leading his buddies into all kinds of trouble. He is 20 now and is still trying to find himself! As a mother, I think you really should talk to your child and see how she feels about it. Children are often much more capable of expressing themselves than we give them credit! I am also a 5th grade teacher; In my 14 years of teaching ( eight of those in third), I have seen only a few success stories with students being retained! "
10/19/2009:
"My daughter is in 3rd grade, one of the youngest in her class, and will turn 8 next month. She is an average student in a high achieving school, so academics is not the major issue. She is socially and emotionally immature and that seems to be a problem. She has few friends and cannot seem to relate to the girls in her class. Even for the grade behind, she seems immature. We are considering retention, because we think she will do better both academically and socially. We are concerned about future problems in junior high and high school. We regret not waiting an extra year to have her enter Kindergarten, but we didn't know that redshirting was common for girls. The problem lies in that we love our school and cannot really afford to send two kids to private school. I am interested in both positive and negative experiences with holding a child back at the same school. Just trying to do the best for my child. Thanks."
10/19/2009:
"I have life long psychological problmes from being held back after kindegarten! I was actually given an ungraded year in a special education class!"
10/7/2009:
"kids need a computor at the first time they start seting up and start finger pointing"
10/6/2009:
"I take my hat off for all teachers. I think kids should be examined before the school decides whether to retain them or not. "
09/18/2009:
"I found these comments to be very interesting to say the least. I was a child who had quite a difficult time socially and acedemically from a very young age. Some as a result of childhood sickness. It was indeed a struggle. I started out in a special education preschool then proceeded on and gotr lost through the system due to constant relocation as a result of my parents military status. I did not recieve an IEP again until the middle of the ninth grade, at which time I was diagnosed as EDLD. I was never held back. The key to my success through all I have been through is parfent involvement. My mother was constantly looking for a WAY. Even if it had been benificial for me to be held backthe support and constant monitoring from my mother would have made it a success. Hold your children and love them in the skin they are in be diligent and ever supporting and open to all possibilities. No one thing works for every child but Love. And I who has endured so many obsticles am ! a success not because on an IEP, doctor,retention but because I had a parent who believed in me and a strong support network to support her when things got tough"
09/16/2009:
"Being a student myself, i feel bad for those kids, because they are always attacked(emotionally) by their peers. They also can lose there friends because they moved on."
09/1/2009:
"I can say for a fact that my daughter who has ADHD and ODD has been pushed through school all her life she is now 13 years old and don't know her math,can't read ect...All because the IEP said she is making baby step progress. She also uses her disability as a advantage to get them to do her work. Its hard on the parents and the school. The teachers have enough now a days to deal with and to have to baby sit kids who just don't want to learn is not right. Kids today have no responsibility or accountability. When i was in school you failed a test you failed a test. Today if they fail they give them a passing grade. And they carry that on as that's what to expect when they wont something. They want it handed to them. And when its time to get a job they want to know why no one will hirer them. Education is priority in my house. But for my one daughter she basically does what she wants. Thats i big problem with this country everyone has there hand out and instead of working to g! et ahaead. "
09/1/2009:
"No, even if the parent goes into the decision with a positive attitude and tells their child (my son) it is a good thing and he is still having problems becuase his friends are asking him if feld the 3rd grade. And now it is worse than it was last year then it doesnt matter it is like the dr. stated in the article it depends on the child as well as the parents, because my husband and i made it a positive thing like the school suggested but today i am putting him in the correct grade level, he is very mature it also could have been the teacher last year, the reason i say that is because there are multiple students that were retained in her class. Again i feel every parents pain with this decision it is a very hard one. Good Luck to everyone"
08/20/2009:
"my son was retained in the 3rd grade twice but spent three years in the third grade two of them inwhich were spent with the same teacher. i really felt like i was fighting a losing battle no matter. the school was totaly for the teacher, come to find out after my kid was tested they found that he is add and adhd , it took having a teacher the following year that understood him and his problem to help him make it, and he did he was abel to skip 4th grade alltogether and go strait to the 5th he is now going to the 6th , all it took was a good doctor , and a great dedicated teacher."
08/11/2009:
"We retained our son in 1st grade. He is now going into 3rd. Absolutely, the best decision we could have made. Before he seemed 'younger' than the other children in his grade and struggled with academics. Now we often hear he is the 'leader' of the class and has no problems academically. We never made it seem bad that he was going for a second year to 1st grade. He was aware of the decision to retain and even helped make it. I wonder how much of the issues in the article are related to the parents' attitude regarding the retention. If the parent is ashamed then the child is going to know that and internalize that same feeling."
07/23/2009:
"For comment 07/16/2009, you can't tell someone how to feel, just because you see a different view. Your view isn't the golden view."
07/23/2009:
"For what reason do they have to require more testing, is the normal exam good enough. The sad thing is when the kids finish the TAKS test, they still have to stay in school if they pass it and finish other test. This doesn't make any sense to probaly to any body, not even the one who created the TAKS test in the first place. "
07/22/2009:
"Want some additional information, answers to questions, or support? Please consider joining and posting them at the 'Learning and Attention Difficulties' group found here at GS to receive to receive practical suggestions from parents who have faced similar challenges: http://community.greatschools.org/groups/11554"
07/16/2009:
"Dear Parents. It is an absolute shame that some parents refuse to give permission to teachers to retain their child. Ultimately it does far more harm than good if your child is allowed to progress to the next grade. The problem with most parents are that they do not want to reconize that their child a Learning Disability.However, there should be concusive evidence as to why the student is being retained. There should also be clear effective intervention plans."
07/15/2009:
"Please realize some of you, that studies do not mean that everyone fit the category. It means that the majority of the cases studied reflected the results. I DO NOT believe in retention in most cases, but there are circumstances where it would be good for the child. My son was held back in 1st grade, diagnosed with LD in 5th grade and never had a happy learning day at school. He, fortunately, is very personable and loved the social aspect of it. He ended up being almost 20 yrs old and still struggling in high school. He had IEP meetings every year at least once. It was an agonizing experience for me as a parent and for him as a student. He has gone on in life to be very successful doing what he loves doing. He is a contractor and has a wonderful family. Retention was a huge waste of time and an terrible educational decision. Please just weigh your circumstances carefully before you make this decision."
06/25/2009:
"06/16/2009 Wow!!!! i have sat here for at least 30-40 minutes reading all the concerns of the parents out there... Wow!! what a journey that we as parents have to bear. My son who has been diagnosed as ADHD since three years ago, where he started and IEP since the 3rd grade, has been struggling.IT WILL ONLY BE THROUGH GOD'S GRACE THAT HE AND I WILL MAKE IT THROUGH-WHICH I BELIEVE WE WILL. with so many trials, troubles, and challenges. There is so many items i can share here today, however it will be an never ending story. This article is the very same reminder, of why my son in the Gwinnett County system could not be retained due to my request. However, i do disagree on some points, with my son's lost of focus mainly due to LD and severe immaturity Note: For the parents who would like to make a change if possible, there is a new scholarship, for those who has not heard called the GSNS=GEORGIA SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAM, which provides privatee schools to students under the IEP. Just google, and all the information will be provided, that you may apply. Most times u are awarded full paid tuition. Thank you hope this helps for many........"
06/23/2009:
"I believe that early intervention is the key here. When working with children it is a teacher and schools responsability to notice that a child is struggling. Getting to the root of the problem when the problem arises is key to helping these children succeed. "
06/19/2009:
"I almost find this article insulting. I never attended preschool, started kindergarten young and was eventually held back in the first grade. It was the best thing for me. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Give me a word search, spelling challenges, Boggle...I love them all. Math, I know it, but it's not my strength. I struggled a bit here and there throughout school, but I never got into trouble, drugs or considered dropping out. Education value is what was instilled in me through school, that's what's important. My original first grade friends moved on, I made new friends and I still keep in touch with those that moved on. We are now retaining our son in kindergarten which is what I anticipated when he went from pre-school to kindergarten. It's mostly my choice, my instinct is it will be an advantage for him down the line and it's my responsibility as his parent to support and guide him through it. The demands are higher now for students and I'd rather k! eep him back now than in a higher grade where it may be more difficult for him to handle later. Follow your gut, not just some 'study' from 2003."
06/17/2009:
"06/16/2009 Wow!!!! i have sat here for at least 30-40 minutes reading all the concerns of the parents out there... Wow!! what a journey that we as parents have to bear. My son who has been diagnosed as ADHD since three years ago, where he started and IEP since the 3rd grade, has been struggling.IT WILL ONLY BE THROUGH GOD'S GRACE THAT HE AND I WILL MAKE IT THROUGH-WHICH I BELIEVE WE WILL. with so many trials, troubles, and challenges. There is so many items i can share here today, however it will be an never ending story. This article is the very same reminder, of why my son in the Gwinnett County system could not be retained due to my request. However, i do disagree on some points, with my son's lost of focus mainly due to LD and severe immaturity Note: For the parents who would like to make a change if possible, there is a new scholarship, for those who has not heard called the GSNS=GEORGIA SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAM, which provides privatee schools to students under the IEP. Just google, and all the information will be provided, that you may apply. Most times u are awarded full paid tuition. Thank you hope this helps for many........"
06/17/2009:
"My son was retained in 1st grade and it was the best thing we could of done for him. He still struggles in Reading and some writing, but he is doing so well. We explained to him that he was sick when he was younger and that effected his learning. He loves school and has a love for books. So I suggest think long and hard and only you can make that choice for your child. Good Luck!"
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