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Study Finds Big Drop in Students Being Held Back

Study Finds Big Drop in Students Being Held Back

The question of whether or not to hold a child back in school may become even more heated in light of recent data.

The debate is being held among teachers, parents, and even politicians, according to an article on NPR.org. Researchers have found that grade retention rate "has dropped dramatically," said the article. From 1995 to 2005, "the overall retention rate hovered near 3 percent. But, from 2005 to 2010 it fell to 1.5 percent."

"It has pretty much gone under the radar because no one was able to measure [grade retention]," said the University of Minnesota's Rob Warren, lead researcher on the study. "The next step is why."

The numbers, the article said, "are also a bit of a mystery."

"Unraveling that mystery requires grappling with another fraught topic: social promotion," the article said. "That's when a student is allowed to move on to the next grade level, staying with his age-appropriate social group, without meeting the necessary academic requirements."

Warren, however, "doesn't think the drop he found has anything to do with the accountability movement or the landmark No Child Left Behind Act of 2001," the article said.

"I would think No Child Left Behind would lead to higher retention rates," he said. "They're saying, 'We want to avoid social promotion. We don't want kids to move on who can't read at grade level.' "

Data instead showed that "fewer students were held back, not more," said NPR.org.

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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