ERIC Number: ED397213
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Dec
Grade Retention and School Dropout: Policy Debate and Research Questions.
Phi Delta Kappa Research Bulletin, n15 p1-6 Dec 1995
Educational policy trends have contributed to rising rates of student grade retention over the past two decades. This research bulletin looks at the evidence about whether and how grade retention may influence the chances that a student would drop out of school. In 1992, evidence indicates that about 20% of 14-year-olds may have experienced a grade retention between first and eighth grades. Retention rates and the proportion of students who are overage for grade vary significantly by race and gender. There is indeed a strong association between retention and dropping out, and the literature on grade retention suggests three important aspects of the retention experience that combine to place students at risk of school failure and early school leaving. As a remediation strategy, retention does not appear to improve school performance. In addition, it is a strong message that the teacher and school do not consider the student capable; and it may increase the chances of leaving school because it makes a student overage for grade during adolescence and may increase frustration and disengagement. In many cases, however, teachers are not in accord with these research findings, largely because they cannot follow their students over time. Policy makers will have to address teacher attitudes and the continuing use of test scores for student retention decisions if they wish to change this educational trend. (Contains one figure and two tables.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Failure, Age Differences, Dropout Research, Dropouts, Educational History, Educational Policy, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Grade Repetition, High Risk Students, Potential Dropouts, Self Esteem, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Expectations of Students
Phi Delta Kappa, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa, Bloomington, IN. Center on Evaluation, Development, and Research.