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ERIC Number: ED483732
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Retaining Students in Grade: Consequences for Florida. Policy Brief.
Smith, Mary Lee
Education Policy Studies Laboratory, Arizona State University College of Education
Eliminating social promotion, retaining students in grade, and using proficiency standards to determine students' progress through grades was intended to make schools accountable and increase academic achievement. Research evidence demonstrates that grade retention does not improve achievement and may increase the chances of a student dropping out of school instead of persisting to graduation. Retaining students in grade is both expensive and ineffective, and there are effective alternatives to it. Abandoning this policy in favor of more productive and proven policies will save money and enhance the education and life chances of Florida's students. This review of historical records, comparative studies, and longitudinal data recommends that: (1) Florida legislators repeal the relevant section of Statute 1008 so that pupils' progression from grade to grade is disconnected from their FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test) scores; and (2) education policymakers abandon the policy of retaining students in grade because it fails the test of best evidence and cost-effectiveness.
Education Policy Studies Laboratory, Division of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, College of Education, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 872411, Tempe, AZ 85287-2411. Tel: 480-965-1886; Fax: 480-965-0303; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 3
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Arizona State Univ., Tempe. Education Policy Studies Lab.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A