ERIC Number: ED434962
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Failing Our Children: Finding Alternatives to In-Grade Retention. A Policy Brief.
McCollum, Pam; Cortez, Albert; Maroney, Oanh H.; Montes, Felix
This policy brief presents an in-depth look at the issue of grade-retention in Texas, reviews research that finds this practice to be ineffective, and outlines alternatives to both retention and social promotion. In-grade retention has been a recurrent theme in education over the last 30 years, and it is currently linked to calls for higher standards by politicians. It is often seen as the only alternative to social promotion, passing students with the age-appropriate cohort. Of 66 studies done from 1990 to 1997, 65 found in-grade retention to be ineffective or actually harmful. Retained students suffer low self-esteem and are not likely to make up academic deficiencies. African American and Hispanic students are retained at twice the rate of Whites, and 40% of grade repeaters come from the lowest socioeconomic quartile. In-grade retention is increasing in Texas, especially for minority and economically disadvantaged students. The highest retention rates are found in urban school districts. The Intercultural Development Research Association has developed some recommendations for addressing issues related to in-grade retention in Texas. These include early identification of students at risk, professional development for teachers, redesign of school structures to provide more support, and establishment of new criteria for determining whether or not students should be promoted. (Contains 6 tables, 1 graph, and 39 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Failure, Academic Standards, Elementary Secondary Education, Grade Repetition, Low Achievement, Social Promotion, Student Promotion, Urban Schools
Intercultural Development Research Association Institute for Policy and Leadership, 5835 Callaghan Road, Suite 350, San Antonio, TX 78228-1190. Tel: 210-684-8180; Fax: 210-684-5389; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Intercultural Development Research Association, San Antonio, TX.
Note: For other policy briefs, see UD 033 132 and UD 033 134-136.