ERIC Number: ED207125
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Retain or Promote? Research Action Brief. Number 16.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.
Research on the retention or promotion of failing students has been unable to demonstrate the superiority of either method, concludes the author of this review. Furthermore, research shows that neither method by itself solves the educational problems of low-achieving students, since both retained and promoted students continue to achieve at levels below the class average. Jackson's earlier review of research found that most studies were invalid because they did not control for differences in ability or achievement among failing students. Thus studies comparing students retained or promoted under normal school policies are biased toward promotion policies, says the author, since the students promoted are doing better than those retained anyway. One study attempted to control for ability differences but failed to control for all of them. Research on individual students suggests that some student characteristics can favor retention or promotion, including the student's rate of progress before retention, the amount of lag behind the class, social maturity, and other factors related to the child, the child's family, and school personnel. These research findings imply that meeting the needs of failing students through programs adjusted to students' ability levels is more important than policies of retention or promotion. (Author/RW)
Descriptors: Academic Failure, Elementary Secondary Education, Grade Repetition, Maturity (Individuals), Remedial Programs, Research Methodology, Research Problems, Student Characteristics, Student Promotion
ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.