ERIC Number: EJ974529
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar-28
Reference Count: N/A
More States Retaining 3rd Graders
Robelen, Erik W.
Education Week, v31 n26 p1, 15 Mar 2012
As increasing numbers of states move to end social promotion of 3rd graders, some are also including interventions to help students learn to read. Oklahoma is one of several states that recently adopted new reading policies that--with limited exceptions--call for 3rd graders to be held back if they flunk a state standardized test. Supporters say that retention is intended as a last resort, and that a key goal of the policies is to place a greater focus--and apply some extra pressure--to make sure schools intervene early with struggling readers. Without an adequate ability to read, they say, children are ill-equipped to learn across disciplines and may never catch up. But critics say that it's misguided to base a promotion decision on a standardized-test score, and that holding a child back may do more harm than good. They also express concern over whether states will provide the money to help districts succeed with students deficient in reading, especially in a time of tight budgets. In fact, Texas' education commissioner recently signaled that he might suspend his state's retention policy, which targets 5th and 8th graders, if sufficient state aid for interventions is not restored. Most experts agree that retention alone can lead to academic difficulties for students, including a greater likelihood of dropping out of school. And yet, some recent research suggests that a carefully crafted retention policy, coupled with extra support for those held back, may improve achievement.
Descriptors: Grade 3, Social Promotion, Educational Practices, Educational Trends, Educational Policy, Reading Achievement, Grade Repetition, Scores, Failure, Standardized Tests, Early Intervention, Reading Difficulties, Special Needs Students, Reading Ability, Decision Making, School Holding Power, State Aid
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 3
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Oklahoma; Texas