social promotion v. grade retention:. two sides of the same coin. imagine:. test based promotion standards. effective diagnosis. remediation of learning problems . yet…. past experience. nor the. means. will. have neither the. (wish list…).
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social promotionv. grade retention: two sides of the same coin
imagine: test based promotion standards effective diagnosis remediation of learning problems yet…
past experience nor the means will have neither the
(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
“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)
social promotion: 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 retention: policy that holds back students who have failing grades at the end of the school year, aka policy of repetition (Department of Education, 1999)
social promotion dichotomy of choice? retention
Retention studies negative effects • 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. 50-51) Retention studies positive effects • 1992 – Alexander: found retention harmless, offering small benefits and halting failure begun in previous years out (Kelly, 1999)
results of retention lower educational expectation by others increased risks of health-compromising behaviors suicidal intentions inadequate knowledge and skills more likely to be: unemployedon public assistancein prison more disruptive behavior external locus of control high drop out rates leading to fewer employment opportunities, substance abuse and arrests lower educational expectation for self (Frey, 2001; Jimerson, 2001; Nat’l Assn. of School Psychologists, 2003 )
results of social promotion teachers must deal with under-prepared students frustrates students because they cannot do the work students feel notworthtime & effort to help them be successful internalize that you don’t have to work hard parents have falsesense of progress employers conclude diplomas are meaningless viable only because retention is worse students are thrust into society and cannot perform lower educational expectation for self (Thompson & Cunningham, 2000; Johnson, & Rudolph, 2001)
consequences of retention… • 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(Nat’l. Association of School Psychologists, 2003) • made them feel sad, bad, upset, or embarrassed • feel not good enough …from the mouths of babes
holding students back no change in instructional strategies ineffective
identify student problems and intervene as early as possible within the school year • individualize appropriate instruction around each student’s need • establish strong quality controls and monitoring to ensure that the additional time and help are working strategies (informing practice) • 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 continuedsupport throughout their school career (Denton, 2001)
encourage parental involvement (Fager & Richen, 1995) • use tutoring or mentoring (Fager & Richen, 1995) • provide a learning resource program (Fager & Richen, 1995) • use interventions that are evidence-based (Picklo & Christensen, 2005) • use cognitive behavior modification strategies (Jimerson, 2001, p. 55) • use ungraded classes/subjects and “promote” them when requirements have been met • implement full service schools(Nat’l Association of School Psychologists, 2000) • provide additional education choices
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)
reading is KEY!
“The most notable academic deficit for retained students is in reading.” (Nat’l Assn. of School Psychologists, 2003)
“Without the ability to read, a student is cut off from learning in every subject. Thus, the majority of retentions occur in 1st grade, even though researchers have found 1st graders often benefit least from the practice.” (Kelly, 1999)
“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)
past: kindergarten through third grade what about the effects of high stakes testing? present: ninth grade (Frey, 2005)
instructional changes related to improving student performance more evident increase in monitoring of student performance and progress more evident increase in efforts to accelerate progress of low-achieving students more evident increase in clarity of instructional goals more evident (Picklo & Christenson, 2005)
high stakes testing = multiple opportunities to demonstrate mastery (American Psychological Association, 2001)
“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)
“…the real need is not so much to find a formula for effectiveremediationas it is to find a formula for effectiveeducation…” effectiveeducation (Alexander, et al. in Jimerson, 2001)
References American Psychological Association. (2001, May). Appropriate use of high-stakes testing in our nation’s schools. Retrieved March 13, 2006, from: http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/testing.html 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: http://www.sreb.org/programs/srr/pubs/Alternatives/AlternativesToFailure.asp 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: http://www.ed.gov/pubs/socialpromotion/index.html Fager, J. & Richen, R. (1999, July). When students don’t succeed: Shedding light on grade retention. Retrieved March 12, 2006, from the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory Web site: http://www.nwrel.org/request/july99/ 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.
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: http://www.education.ucsb.edu/jimerson/retention/CSP_RetentionSynthesis2001.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: http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/students/atrisk/at800.htm Kelly, K. (1999, January/February). Retention vs. social promotion: Schools search for alternatives. Harvard Education Letter. Retrieved March 12, 2006, from: http://www.edletter.org/past/issues/1999-jf/retention.shtml National Association of School Psychologists. (2003, April 12). Position statement on student grade retention and social promotion. Retrieved March 12, 2006, from: http://www.nasponline.org/information/pospaper_graderetent.html 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.
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: www.ericdigests.org./2001-3/policy.htm (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED449241)