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Social promotion v. grade retention: two sides of the same coin.

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Presentation on theme: "Social promotion v. grade retention: two sides of the same coin."— Presentation transcript:

1 social promotion v. grade retention: two sides of the same coin


3 imagine: test based promotion standards yet… effective diagnosis remediation of learning problems

4 past experience have neither the will mean s nor the

5 (wish list…) well-designed and carefully aligned curricular standards, performance standards and assessments well-trained teachers able to meet high standards students have ample notice of expectations learning difficulties identified well in advance of high- stakes testing deadlines accountability would be shared among students, educators and parents

6 There is no positive example of such a system in the United States, past or present, whose success is documented by credible research. (Hauser, 1999, p. 4)

7 social promotion: retention: practice of allowing students who have failed to meet performance standards and academic requirements to pass on to the next grade with their peers instead of completing or satisfying the requirements policy that holds back students who have failing grades at the end of the school year, aka policy of repetition (Department of Education, 1999)

8 social promotion retention dichotomy of choice?

9 1989 – Holmes: 54/63 empirical studies found overall negative effects (Kelly, 1999) 1992 – Shepard: students who repeated a year were 20 to 30 percent more likely to drop out (Kelly, 1999) 1985 – Association of CA Urban School Districts: students retained twice had almost 100 percent probability of dropping out (Kelly, 1999) 2001 – Jimerson: nearly 700 analyses over a 75 year period demonstrated the consistent negative effects of retention on academic achievement; 320 analyses over a 40+ year period less than positive socioemotional adjustments; 21 year longitudinal study provides evidence that, due to lower levels of academic adjustment, were more likely to drop out by age 19, less likely to receive a diploma by age 20, less likely to enroll in a post-secondary program, receive lower education/employment status ratings, paid less per hour, receive poorer employment competence ratings (2001, p ) 1992 – Alexander: found retention harmless, offering small benefits and halting failure begun in previous years out (Kelly, 1999) Retention studies negative effects Retention studies positive effects

10 results of retention high drop out rates leading to fewer employment opportunities, substance abuse and arrests inadequate knowledge and skills lower educational expectation by others m o r e d i s r u p t i v e b e h a v i o r e x t e r n a l l o c u s o f c o n t r o l (Frey, 2001; Jimerson, 2001; Natl Assn. of School Psychologists, 2003 ) lower educational expectation for self i n c r e a s e d r i s k s o f h e a l t h - c o m p r o m i s i n g b e h a v i o r s suicidal intentions more likely to be: unemployed on public assistance in prison

11 results of social promotion students are thrust into society and cannot perform internalize that you dont have to work hard teachers must deal with under-prepared students v i a b l e o n l y b e c a u s e r e t e n t i o n i s w o r s e (Thompson & Cunningham, 2000; Johnson, & Rudolph, 2001) lower educational expectation for self frustrates students because they cannot do the work parents have false sense of progress employers conclude diplomas are meaningless students feel not worth time & effort to help them be successful

12 consequences of retention… …from the mouths of babes an event so feared that many students report they would rather wet themselves in class (Brynes & Yamamoto in Frey, 2005) is ranked as the most stressful life event, followed by loss of a parent and going blind (Natl. Association of School Psychologists, 2003) made them feel sad, bad, upset, or embarrassed feel not good enough

13 holding students back no change in instructional strategies ineffective

14 identify student problems and intervene as early as possible within the school year individualize appropriate instruction around each students need establish strong quality controls and monitoring to ensure that the additional time and help are working (Denton, 2001) provide extra learning time during the school year: flexible and creative during school hours extra-time outside the school day make the new intervention different: carefully match materials to students needs and vary instructional approaches recognize that most of these students will need continued support throughout their school career strategies (informing practice)

15 encourage parental involvement (Fager & Richen, 1995) use tutoring or mentoring (Fager & Richen, 1995) provide additional education choices use interventions that are evidence-based (Picklo & Christensen, 2005) use cognitive behavior modification strategies (Jimerson, 2001, p. 55) provide a learning resource program (Fager & Richen, 1995) use ungraded classes/subjects and promote them when requirements have been met implement full service schools (Natl Association of School Psychologists, 2000)

16 other considerations teachers must be trained to detect problems and refer students to appropriate sources of help (Denton, 2001) use of teachers with specialized expertise (Denton, 2001) use of instructional strategies that do not depend primarily on peer assistance (Picklo & Christenson, 2005) avoid remediation that focuses narrowly on minimum academic competencies and test-taking skills (Picklo & Christenson, 2005) instructional supports must be ready as soon as students need assistance (Darling-Hammond in Picklo & Christensen) recognize importance of early developmental programs and preschool programs to enhance language and social skills (American Association of School Psychologists, 2001)

17 reading is KEY!

18 The most notable academic deficit for retained students is in reading. (Natl Assn. of School Psychologists, 2003)

19 Without the ability to read, a student is cut off from learning in every subject. Thus, the majority of retentions occur in 1 st grade, even though researchers have found 1 st graders often benefit least from the practice. (Kelly, 1999)

20 Reading problems probably are the most common cause of student failure…Research increasingly shows that virtually all children can learn to read. However, the research also shows that not all children learn to read in the same way…Repeating a grade is particularly ineffective for students who struggle with reading. (Denton, 2001)

21 what about the effects of high stakes testing? present: ninth grade past: kindergarten through third grade (Frey, 2005)

22 instructional changes related to improving student performance more evident increase in monitoring of student performance and progress increase in efforts to accelerate progress of low- achieving students increase in clarity of instructional goals (Picklo & Christenson, 2005)

23 high stakes testing = multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery (American Psychological Association, 2001)

24 It is only fair to use test results in high-stakes decisions when students have had a real opportunity to master the materials upon which the test is based. (American Psychological Association, 2001)

25 …the real need is not so much to find a formula for effective remediation as it is to find a formula for effective education… (Alexander, et al. in Jimerson, 2001) effective education

26 References American Psychological Association. (2001, May). Appropriate use of high-stakes testing in our nations schools. Retrieved March 13, 2006, from: Denton, D. (2001, January). Finding alternatives to failure: Can states end social promotion and reduce retention rates? Retrieved March 12, 2006, from the Southern Region Education Board Web site: Department of Education. (1999, May). Taking responsibility for ending social promotion: A guide for educators and state and local leaders. Retrieved March 12, 2006, from: Fager, J. & Richen, R. (1999, July). When students dont succeed: Shedding light on grade retention. Retrieved March 12, 2006, from the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory Web site: Frey, N. (2005, November/December). Retention, social promotion and academic redshirting: What do we know and need to know? Remedial and Special Education. 26(6). Retrieved March 12, 2006, from the Academic Search Premier database.

27 References Jimerson, S. (2001). A synthesis of grade retention research: Looking backward and moving forward. The California School Psychologist, 6. Retrieved March 15, 2006, from the University of California, Santa Barbara Web site: 01.pdf Johnson, D. & Rudolph, A. (2001). Beyond social promotion and retention – five strategies to help students succeed. Retrieved March 13, 2006, from the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory Web site: Kelly, K. (1999, January/February). Retention vs. social promotion: Schools search for alternatives. Harvard Education Letter. Retrieved March 12, 2006, from: National Association of School Psychologists. (2003, April 12). Position statement on student grade retention and social promotion. Retrieved March 12, 2006, from: Picklo, D. & Christenson, S. (2005, September/October). Alternatives to retention and social promotion: The availability of instructional options. Remedial and Special Education. Retrieved March 12, 2006, from the EBSCOhost database.

28 References Thompson, C. & Cunningham, E. (2000, December). Retention and social promotion: Research and implications for policy. ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education. Retrieved March 12, 2006, from: (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED449241)

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