ERIC Number: ED449915
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Retention, Helpful or Harmful? A Look at How or If Grade Retention Affects Children in School.
Rothstein, Vivian L.
Noting that the rate of grade retention has risen nearly 40 percent over the past 20 years, this case study examines whether being retained for 1 school year helps children academically by giving them more practice and time to succeed or harms their self-esteem and causes them to eventually drop out of school. Participating in the study were five students who were repeating the fifth grade, three boys and two girls, with varied SES and ethnic backgrounds. Data were collected through student interviews, parent surveys, examination of information in student records, and classroom observations. Parent surveys were also sent to parents of the nonretained students in the class. Profiles were derived for each student, including scores on standardized achievement tests. Findings indicated that parents of three of the five retained students thought that another year in fifth grade would help their child be ready for middle school. Almost all parents in both groups thought their children had high self-esteem and had friends in class. Some of the parents of retained students believed their children were not doing as well in school as they had been and did not have positive attitudes toward school in general. Students' responses to retention varied greatly, as did their feelings about school. Factors other than retention could have influenced students' attitudes. Students and parents generally responded in the same ways regarding school progress and attitudes. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A