ERIC Number: ED408102
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-May
When Retention Is Recommended, What Should Parents Do? ERIC Digest.
Robertson, Anne S.
Each year, many teachers face the problem of where to place children who do not fit into the rest of the class. Retention is an option that is frequently considered for these children. Children considered for retention often have poor academic skills, are small in stature or the youngest in the grade, have moved or been absent frequently, do poorly on a prescreening assessment, or have limited English-language skills. In addition, retained children are more likely to be male and to have minority status, a high activity level, low socioeconomic status, and parents who are unwilling or unable to intercede for them. However, research indicates that although some retained students do better at first, these children often fall behind again in later grades; most children do not "catch up" when held back; and students who are held back tend to get into trouble, dislike school, and feel badly about themselves more often than children who go on to the next grade. Some alternatives to retention include mixed-age classes, individualized instruction, tutoring, home assistance programs, smaller class size, alternative educational settings, guidance counseling, and delay of achievement testing. When parents are faced with retention as an option for their child, they can make an effort to understand why the teacher is suggesting retention; keep the teacher informed about the parents' knowledge of the child; be aware of the stresses that may be affecting the child and keep the teacher informed; ask the child about homework and give him or her a quiet place to study; be certain that the child eats nutritious meals, gets enough sleep, and stays healthy; and request assistance from other support staff in the school. Retention should be used rarely, and new approaches to curriculum development, school restructuring, and student instruction should become the focus of academic improvement. (LPP)
Descriptors: Academic Failure, Educational Change, Grade Repetition, High Risk Students, Nontraditional Education, Parent Participation, Parent Role, Parent Student Relationship, Parent Teacher Cooperation, Potential Dropouts, Student Characteristics, Student Placement, Student Promotion, Student Reaction, Teacher Attitudes, Theory Practice Relationship
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Parents; Practitioners; Teachers
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Champaign, IL.