[MOSAIC] retention

Sandra Stringham soswes at sbcglobal.net
Tue Aug 7 17:36:22 EDT 2007

Carrie...I have a question, since you did your dissertation on retention, are there any studies of a child in K or 1st who was a candidate for retention, but was not retained, how that child did as they went through the grades?  And this in comparison to a K or 1st who was retained and in comparison to other "low" students who weren't candidates for retention.

I've said good teaching is the answer too, but I even think that sounds to simplistic.  I would wonder if these students did have good teaching but there are sooooo many variables in a students life, that even good teaching can't overcome everything.  

I don't know how I feel about retention.  I do everything I can to make sure my students succeed.  Out of 23 kids last year, I had 9 on intervention plans right from the beginning of the school year.  Of those nine, by the end of the year, only 2 qualified for summer school.   Which means the intervention plans worked.  Of the 2 that went to summer school, I know what one went up several levels in her reading.  I don't know about the other student.

I've had retention students in my classroom and they did very well.  I don't know how they are doing now because I'm not in that school and who knows where they are.  I've sent kids on to 2nd that  were low, but you should have seen where they came from.  I did retain one child this last year, but it was a child who came  to our school in May.  He started school last July in CA. and then in Sept. moved to Washington State, and then in May moved to our school.  When I tested him, he was a beginning first grader.  He was very immature (ok....don't start that discussion again) and we had behavior problems, but I think that was due more to fact that he as so far behind my other kids.  He was even smaller in statue than my littlest 1st grader.  I can't help but think that another year of maturity on this kid will do him a world of good; he'll start the year right where he should be.  

I don't know what kind of teaching he had in his other 2 schools.  I'm sure they would say "good teaching"...but I don't know.  Have I done this child a disservice?  I don't think so.  Maybe it's just we don't believe in retention, and we'll do everything possible to prevent it, but sometimes, it may be the best thing?  I don't know.  Thinking out loud.

Just wondering.


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