Promote or Retain?
have to make tough decisions. If you have a child with a disability,
the end of 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. Struggling readers need intensive interventions and change in instruction.
"Retention is typically the last resort to give struggling students more time to improve their skills.
When a student is identified as a struggling reader and therefore at risk for retention, parents must be notified immediately. Retention without intervention is a recipe for failure." - from the Learning Disabilities Association of America, Best Practices for Third Grade Reading Policies
Third Grade Reading Laws Infographic.
"Some schools have used retention - without providing interventions - assuming that time alone will make a difference."
are the FACTS about retention?
Does retention help? Does an extra year allow children to catch
March 1998, the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities
(NJCLD) issued their position paper on grade retention. Here are
some excerpts from this position paper, "To Promote or
is an expensive fad that wastes taxpayer monies."
retention costs as much as $13,000 per child per year." Retained
children DO NOT catch up. "Retained children fall further behind
and are at greater risk for dropping out of school."
weight of the evidence of literally hundreds of studies shows
that retaining children does not produce higher achievement."
than flunking students, schools should provide high quality instruction
who find learning difficult," says Sylvia Richardson, MD, Chair
of the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities.
penalizes children for the failure of school systems to develop
effective instructional plans for children who need more and better
instruction if they are to succeed. 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 intensive tutoring by a qualified teacher is an effective
strategy for these children. Intensive tutoring works.
who find learning difficult benefit more from high quality instruction.
" Providing a daily period of intensive tutoring by qualified
personnel could cost half as much as retention - and intensive
tutoring reliably enhances achievement."
children does nothing to address the problems that make learning
difficult for children."
"LDA Newsbriefs" (Vol. 33, No. 2, March/April 1998)