ERIC Number: ED343209
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Alternatives to Retention: If Flunking Doesn't Work, What Does?
Thomas, Anne Hill
OSSC Bulletin, v35 n6 Feb 1992
This bulletin examines some questions that arise when children are not ready for promotion: Should they be retained? Who decides? Are there alternatives to retention? What is the effect of retention on the student? Despite research limitations, those who examine the studies on grade repetition say they show that grade retention does not have a positive effect either on academic achievement or on personal adjustment, and it is also expensive. Potential solutions being examined in schools are the following: (1) prevention programs to ensure the mastery of reading and mathematics; (2) when early intervention is not enough--assumptions to be re-examined; and (3) alternatives to retention, such as partial promotion to a "half-step" grade. A number of specific programs are briefly described. Seven Oregon school districts were contacted to determine their policies and practices concerning promotion and retention. Most of those interviewed say they focus more on prevention than on retention; consequently, the number of retained students is not considerable. School systems throughout the United States are beginning to question the practice of retention and to discuss the policy and administrative implications of such a change. The appendix contains sample policies concerning promotion and retention that are available from the Oregon School Boards Association and the National Association of School Psychologists. Appended is a 28-item bibliography and a list of the 11 persons interviewed. (MLF)
Descriptors: Academic Failure, Accountability, Board of Education Policy, Cost Effectiveness, Dropout Rate, Early Intervention, Educational Practices, Educationally Disadvantaged, Elementary Secondary Education, Grade Repetition, High Risk Students, Reading Ability, Research Problems, School Effectiveness, School Statistics, Self Esteem, Social Promotion, Student Characteristics
Oregon School Study Council, University of Oregon, 1787 Agate Street, Eugene, OR 97403 ($6.00 prepaid; $2.00 postage and handling on billed orders).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Oregon School Study Council, Eugene.