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NC Early Grade Retention in the Age of Accountability. Sharon Palsha, Ph.D UNC-CH School of Education/FPG Fellow Kindergarten Readiness Issues Group Partners in Research Forum. Mary Bushnell, NC Child Care Resource & Referral Network Dick Clifford, FPG Diane Early, FPG

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Nc early grade retention in the age of accountability

NC Early Grade Retention in the Age of Accountability

Sharon Palsha, Ph.D

UNC-CH School of Education/FPG Fellow

Kindergarten Readiness Issues Group

Partners in Research Forum


Kindergarten readiness issues group partners in research forum

Mary Bushnell, NC Child Care Resource & Referral Network

Dick Clifford, FPG

Diane Early, FPG

Engin Konanc, NC Department of Public Instruction

Kelly Maxwell, FPG

Sharon Palsha, FPG & UNC School of Education

Lucy Roberts, NC Department of Public Instruction

Kindergarten Readiness Issues Group Partners in Research Forum



% Retained in NC by Grade

1991-92 vs. 2001-02


% Retained in NC by Ethnicity and Gender (K-3)


Average expenditures per child in 2001 02
Average Expenditures per Child in 2001-02*

*Per pupil capital expense, 5-year average



% Retained in NC by Grade

2001-02 vs 2005-06


% Retained in NC by Grade

1991-92 vs. 2001-02



What does research say about retention in the early grades

“If ever a school practice not only ignored research, but operated in opposition to it, retention is that practice.”(NEA Today)

What does research say about retention in the early grades?


What does research say about retention in the early grades1

Retention in early grades is harmful, especially before 2 but operated in opposition to it, retention is that practice.”nd grade (Alexender, Entwisle, and Dauber, 2003; Shepard and Smith, 1987, 1989)

Much of research across all grades suggests that retention is not helpful (Holmes, 1989)

Retention is associated with school dropout (NC Education Research Council, 1999)

What does research say about retention in the early grades?


Dropout events

2005- 06 - 9th -12th Grade - but operated in opposition to it, retention is that practice.”

2006-07 - 9th- 12th Grade -

Dropout Events


Dropout events1

2005- 06 - 9th -12th Grade - 22,180 but operated in opposition to it, retention is that practice.”

2006-07 - 9th- 12th Grade - 23, 550

5.24 % increase from previous year

Dropout Events


NC K-3 Retention Rates* but operated in opposition to it, retention is that practice.”


Alternatives to retention

Interventions start early but operated in opposition to it, retention is that practice.”

Interventions occur in the context of the regular classroom setting

Coordination is key

Parents are involved

Afterschool support is offered

Enriched summer experiences are offered

Alternatives to retention


Alternatives to retention continued

Literacy is emphasized but operated in opposition to it, retention is that practice.”

Professional development is critical

Connections are made with community resources

Staff have a “CAN DO” attitude - do everything possible to have every child succeed

Alternatives to retention continued


Cristina s story

Cristina’s Story but operated in opposition to it, retention is that practice.”


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