ERIC Number: ED447244
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Race-Ethnicity, Social Background, and Grade Retention. CDE Working Paper.
Hauser, Robert M.; Pager, Devah I.; Simmons, Solon J.
This paper reviews the policy context of school retention and shows that age-grade retardation has been common and growing in American schools from the 1970s-90s. The paper focuses on the period from 1972-98 and on grade retardation at ages 6, 9, 12, 15, and 17 years. By age 9 years, the odds of grade-retardation among African American and Hispanic youth are 50 percent larger than they are among white youth, but these differentials are almost entirely explained by social and economic deprivation among minority youth, along with unfavorable geographic location. Because rates of age-grade retardation have increased at the same time that social background conditions have become more favorable to rapid progress through school, the observed trend toward more age-grade retardation substantially understates growth in the practice of holding students back in school. While there is presently little evidence of direct racial-ethnic discrimination in progress through the elementary and secondary grades, the recent movement toward high stakes testing for promotion could magnify racial-ethic differentials in retention. (Contains 45 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Graduate School.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Center for Demography and Ecology.