PROMOTE OR RETAIN?
have to make tough decisions. If you have a child with a disability,
the endof the school year may bring another tough decision. If
your child isn't learning,should you hold the child back?
schools offer two "solutions" to children's learning problems:
retention and referral
to special education. All too often, schools fail to offer the
critical third "R" - remediation.
are the FACTS about retention? Does retention help? Does an
extra year allowchildren to catch up?
March 1998, the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities
(NJCLD) issuedtheir position paper on grade retention. Below are
some excerpts from "To Promote or to
is an expensive fad that wastes taxpayer monies."
retention costs as much as $13,000 per child per year." Retained
children DONOT catch up. "Retained children fall further behind
and are at greater risk fordropping out of school."
weight of the evidence of literally hundreds of studies shows
that retainingchildren does not produce higher achievement."
than flunking students, schools should provide high quality instruction
who find learning difficult," says Sylvia Richardson, MD, Chair
of theNational Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities.
penalizes children for the failure of school systems to develop
effectiveinstructional plans for children who need more and better
instruction if they are tosucceed. More of the same just does
not work," Dr. Richardson explained.
you trying to decide how to help a struggling child? What are
show that the most effective strategy for these children is intensive
utoring by a qualified teacher. Intensive tutoring works.
who find learning difficult benefit more from high quality instruction.
a daily period of intensive tutoring by qualified personnel could
cost halfas much as retention - and intensive tutoring reliably
children does nothing to address the problems that make learning
difficultfor some children."
"LDA Newsbriefs" (Vol. 33, No. 2, March/April 1998)