ERIC Number: ED415980
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Reacting in the Best Interest of Our Kids.
Smalls, Ursula S.
At some time in most teachers' professional lives, they will be faced with making a decision about retaining a student. Although many teachers choose to retain students because they believe it will benefit the student, most studies find the practice of retention either harmful or ineffective. After a review of the literature, a survey was conducted to assess teachers' criteria for and beliefs about grade retention. Thirty-eight teachers at an elementary school with a very high at-risk population were given a 21-question survey. Results showed that 61 percent believe in retaining students who are not ready to move on to the next grade. Many believe that students who cannot read should not be promoted; however, they do not all agree that standardized reading test scores should be an indicator of whether to promote or retain a student. Many teachers believe that retention can mean the difference between future success or failure for some students. Those teachers who had retained students and were able to keep up with the students' progress believed that, in most cases, the children benefited. Reasons given for retention included great potential but lack of effort, need for special education but refusal of parents to permit it, and excessive absences. Teachers agreed that retention is more beneficial in primary rather than upper grades, and that social promotion is not beneficial. Teachers supported strong intervention programs and "bridge" or ungraded classes for at-risk students. (Contains six references.) (EV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A