[MOSAIC] retention question

carlsonca at dist102.k12.il.us carlsonca at dist102.k12.il.us
Tue Aug 7 20:06:12 EDT 2007

I would agree, especially if the same teaching happens in the repeated grade.
In teaching, if a student doesn't get it the first or second time, we need
to find alternative ways to approach the content. Before the child is
retained, administration needs to determine if the learning environment
for the year is any different, are there alternate approaches. Or does the
child just need the learning in a different way?
Students are NOT THE SAME! This is one of education's problems because
that's the way the general public sees us. Students are not empty vessels
waiting to be filled. Students are individuals with different backgrounds,
different needs, different learning styles. No wonder teacher is so
exhausting. I know everyone on this list wants to touch every one of their
students, and that takes time, patience, and hard work. Just wish the
public would see how hard we all work to make learning for each and every

> I wrote my dissertation on retaining students - I wanted to know if
> superintendents believed in the practice and if their beliefs matched
> their actions - especially in relation to low income students.  My
> findings showed that low income students are retained at a high rate
> even though the majority of superintendents who were surveyed did not
> believe in the validity of this practice!   My review of the literature
> did not reveal ANY evidence that retention at ANY grade level resulted
> in long-term success for the student.  LONG TERM is the key phrase here.
> It may appear, especially to teachers, that a kindergartner or first
> grader may do better the next year if they are retained but the research
> shows that these gains are SHORT TERM and taper off quickly.  A
> longitudinal study showed that of the cohort of students followed, 70%
> of those who had been retained once in their life dropped out of school
> by age 16 and this percentage increased if they were retained twice in
> their school career.
> Retention does not work.  Sometimes I feel it's just an easy (not easy
> for the student, however) answer to a complicated problem.  An entire
> year done over is not the answer to helping our struggling students and
> it's not an appropriate punishment for not doing work.  Good teaching IS
> the answer!
> Carrie
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