Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

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The Best Resources For Learning About Grade Retention, Social Promotion & Alternatives To Both

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'Portrait of a sad child' photo (c) 2008, Kevin Pack - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Over at my Education Week Teacher column, I’ll be soon answering a question related to grade retention and social promotion. As part of my answer, I thought I’d put together a list of useful online resources.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning About Grade Retention, Social Promotion & Alternatives To Both:

Critical Issue: Beyond Social Promotion and Retention—Five Strategies to Help Students Succeed is from North Central Regional Educational Laboratory.

Grade Retention and Promotion: Information for Parents
is from The National Association of School Psychologists.

Grade Retention: Achievement and Mental Health Outcomes is also from NASP.

Chicago’s Social Promotion Ban Quietly Fades is from Education Week.

OECD: Holding Back, Expelling Students Weakens Ed. Systems is also from Ed Week.

Designs For Change in Chicago developed a report on the topic.

Research Finds Fault with Chicago’s Retention Program is by Donald Moore at Designs for Change.

Testing and Grade Retention is a report from Fair Test.

Grade Retention: Still a Failed Policy is also from Fair Test.

Social Promotion – In Comparison to Grade Retention, Advantages and Disadvantages, Different Perspectives

Grade Retention is from Pearson Education.

The Consortium on Chicago School Research has produced a series of Ending Social Promotion reports.

This one is a bit dated, but still useful: Retention In Grade Fails Children by the late Gerald Bracey.

Several states are considering requiring mandatory retention of third graders who don’t read at grade level. Here are some articles and posts about this insanity, and I’m adding them to this list:

Schools Get Tough With Third-Graders: Read Or Flunk is from NPR.

Third Grade Again: The Trouble With Holding Students Back is from The Atlantic.

Retention Costs More, Accomplishes Less is from Robert Slavin at Ed Week.

Flunking 3rd Graders is Not an Intervention is by John Wilson at Ed Week.

The Opposite Of Social Promotion
is by Nancy Flanagan at Ed Week.

Flawed, ideological, non-peer-reviewed studies should not rebut decades of anti-retention research is from Scott McLeod.

Civil Rights Data Show Retention Disparities is from Education Week.

Hold Back to Move Forward? Early Grade Retention and Student Misbehavior is a research paper by Umut Özek.

Retention leads to discipline problems in other kids is the title of a new report on research coming out of Duke University. Here’s an excerpt:

When students repeat a grade, it can spell trouble for their classmates, according to a new Duke University-led study of nearly 80,000 middle-schoolers.

In schools with high numbers of grade repeaters , suspensions were more likely to occur across the school community. Discipline problems were also more common among other students, including substance abuse, fighting and classroom disruption.

Public debate typically focuses on how retention affects an individual student’s academic performance, said lead author Clara Muschkin. So she and her colleagues decided to take a wider view and consider how holding students back may affect the school as a whole.

“The decision to retain students has consequences for the whole school community,” said Muschkin, an associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. “That wider effect is an issue worth considering as we debate this policy.”

Holding Kids Back Doesn’t Help Them is from Ed Week.

Jeb Bush’s reading rule loses ground is from Politico.

Why Los Angeles sends failing students on to the next grade is from The Hechinger Report.

Reading by Third Grade – Or Else is by Robert Slavin.

OKC schools head says repeal 3rd-grade reading law is from The Associated Press.

Feedback is always welcome.

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You might also want to explore the 750 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

2 Comments

  1. This is great; very helpful and we’re forming a placement policy in our school. I look forward to your Edweek column.

  2. Hi Larry,

    Came across your site today. Excellent work.

    I want to ask you to review a page of mine; perhaps you already have and have found it wanting?

    If so, please tell me. Glad to get feedback.

    If not, I would be honored if you found it worthy of consideration.

    You must be a star performer. Perhaps by now, you are retired too. Never mind, those of us who have retired still have much to contribute; our collected wisdom cannot go to waste, and a blog like yours is a way to keep it going. For the benefit of all.

    Here is the link, and am referring to one topic, social promotion. But there are other topics on my site as well; such as “rebuilding a teaching culture” that might be of interest to you.

    http://www.writingachievement.com/Retention.htm

    Once you get there, you can surf through other pages if they seem of interest to you.

    Best wishes

    Bruce Saari

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