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ERIC Documents Database Citations & Abstracts for Grade Repetition/Social Promotion in Elementary Secondary Education


Instructions for ERIC Documents Access

Search Strategy:

Grade Repetition OR Social Promotion [as ERIC Descriptor/Identifier, with heavily weighted status]
AND
Review Literature OR Book OR Evaluative Report OR Research Report [as ERIC Document Types] OR Educational History

  EJ551691  CG550947
  Student Retention: Why is There a Gap between the Majority of 
Research Findings and School Practice?
  Tanner, C. Kenneth; Galis, Susan Allan
  Psychology in the Schools, v34 n2 p107-14 Apr   1997
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  JOURNAL ARTICLE (080)
  Reviews popular literature-based propositions pertaining to student 
retention and non-retention.  Surveys the scope of the problem of 
retention and suggests that retaining a child so as to repeat an 
unsuccessful experience is inappropriate, whereas retaining a child 
and using resources to correct well-documented, individual problems 
is appropriate.  (RJM)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; Adolescents; Children; Elementary 
Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; High Risk Students; 
*Literature Reviews; *Outcomes of Education; School Policy; *Student 
Promotion
  Identifiers: *Delay Retention Effect


  ED421560  UD032411
  Passing on Failure: District Promotion Policies and Practices.
  American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC.  1997
  60p.; Appendix C has been separately published with slight 
modification, see UD 032 410.
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141)
  Geographic Source: U.S.; District of Columbia
  This study reviews research and looks at promotion policies in 85 
school districts, including the United States' 40 largest districts, 
describes the practices that support social promotion, and identifies 
the policy changes that will be necessary to break the social 
promotion-retention-social promotion cycle.  Social promotion 
prevails in these school districts because many districts implicitly 
support it and because in most districts there are no agreed-on, 
explicit standards of performance against which student progress can 
be judged and on which a credible and defensible promotion decision 
can be made.  Teachers rarely have the final authority on retention 
decisions.  There are few provisions for programs to prevent or 
intervene when students fall behind.  Policies to help underachieving 
students must address the underlying causes of failure.  For some 
students, repeating a grade may make sense, but for the majority of 
underachieving students, systemic change is required.  Policies and 
practices must address the lack of standards, undemanding curriculum, 
underprepared teachers, and administrative indifference that 
undermine achievement.  To eliminate social promotion, the following 
actions are required: (1) instituting polices to prevent early school 
failure; (2) adapting rigorous grade-by-grade standards; (3) 
providing timely intervention for students who are falling behind; 
(4) placing well-trained teachers in every classroom; (5) making it a 
top priority to give all teachers opportunities to learn how to teach 
students to read; and (6) learning from schools and districts that 
have successfully implemented research-based reforms.  Three 
appendixes contain a list of districts participating in the survey, 
the criteria of the American Federation of Teachers for judging the 
quality of student achievement standards, and descriptions of four 
promising programs for raising student achievement.  (Contains 6 
tables and 44 references.) (SLD)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; Educational Policy; *Educational 
Practices; Elementary Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; Low 
Achievement; *School Districts; *Student Promotion; Surveys; Tables 
(Data)
 Identifiers: *Social Promotion


  EJ544298  EA533387
  Preventing Retention in an Era of High Standards.
  Grant, Jim; Johnson, Bob
  Principal, v76 n5 p20-22 May   1997
  ISSN: 0271-6062
  Document Type: EVALUATIVE REPORT (142);  JOURNAL ARTICLE (080)
  Suggests there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to grade-
repetition problems.  A 12-step program to help principals implement 
high standards and help most students achieve them calls for placing 
incoming students in the most appropriate grade or program, having 
programs to meet varied needs, hiring teachers who use varied 
teaching methods, developing early-intervention programs for "gray-
area" children, and making judicious retention decisions.  (MLH)
  Descriptors: *Academic Standards; Elementary Education; *Grade 
Repetition; Guidelines; *Prevention; *Principals; *Success
  Identifiers: *Social Promotion

  
  ED421560  UD032411
  Passing on Failure: District Promotion Policies and Practices.
  American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC.  1997
  60p.; Appendix C has been separately published with slight 
modification, see UD 032 410.
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141)
  This study reviews research and looks at promotion policies in 85 
school districts, including the United States' 40 largest districts, 
describes the practices that support social promotion, and identifies 
the policy changes that will be necessary to break the social 
promotion-retention-social promotion cycle.  Social promotion 
prevails in these school districts because many districts implicitly 
support it and because in most districts there are no agreed-on, 
explicit standards of performance against which student progress can 
be judged and on which a credible and defensible promotion decision 
can be made.  Teachers rarely have the final authority on retention 
decisions.  There are few provisions for programs to prevent or 
intervene when students fall behind.  Policies to help underachieving 
students must address the underlying causes of failure.  For some 
students, repeating a grade may make sense, but for the majority of 
underachieving students, systemic change is required.  Policies and 
practices must address the lack of standards, undemanding curriculum, 
underprepared teachers, and administrative indifference that 
undermine achievement.  To eliminate social promotion, the following 
actions are required: (1) instituting polices to prevent early school 
failure; (2) adapting rigorous grade-by-grade standards; (3) 
providing timely intervention for students who are falling behind; 
(4) placing well-trained teachers in every classroom; (5) making it a 
top priority to give all teachers opportunities to learn how to teach 
students to read; and (6) learning from schools and districts that 
have successfully implemented research-based reforms.  Three 
appendixes contain a list of districts participating in the survey, 
the criteria of the American Federation of Teachers for judging the 
quality of student achievement standards, and descriptions of four 
promising programs for raising student achievement.  (Contains 6 
tables and 44 references.) (SLD)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; Educational Policy; *Educational 
Practices; Elementary Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; Low 
Achievement; *School Districts; *Student Promotion; Surveys; Tables (Data)
  Identifiers: *Social Promotion

  
  ED415980  PS026164
  Reacting in the Best Interest of Our Kids.
  Smalls, Ursula S.
  1997
  22p.
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  RESEARCH REPORT (143)
  At some time in most teachers' professional lives, they will be 
faced with making a decision about retaining a student.  Although 
many teachers choose to retain students because they believe it will 
benefit the student, most studies find the practice of retention 
either harmful or ineffective.  After a review of the literature, a 
survey was conducted to assess teachers' criteria for and beliefs 
about grade retention.  Thirty-eight teachers at an elementary school 
with a very high at-risk population were given a 21-question survey.  
Results showed that 61 percent believe in retaining students who are 
not ready to move on to the next grade.  Many believe that students 
who cannot read should not be promoted; however, they do not all 
agree that standardized reading test scores should be an indicator of 
whether to promote or retain a student.  Many teachers believe that 
retention can mean the difference between future success or failure 
for some students.  Those teachers who had retained students and were 
able to keep up with the students' progress believed that, in most 
cases, the children benefited.  Reasons given for retention included 
great potential but lack of effort, need for special education but 
refusal of parents to permit it, and excessive absences.  Teachers 
agreed that retention is more beneficial in primary rather than upper 
grades, and that social promotion is not beneficial.  Teachers 
supported strong intervention programs and "bridge" or ungraded 
classes for at-risk students.  (Contains six references.) (EV)
  Descriptors: Elementary Education; *Grade Repetition; High Risk 
Students; Intervention; Remedial Programs; Student Promotion; 
*Teacher Attitudes; Teacher Surveys

  
  EJ505133  EC611424
  Learning Disabilities and Grade Retention: A Review of Issues with 
Recommendations for Practice.
  McLeskey, James; And Others
  Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, v10 n2 p120-28 Spr 
  1995
  ISSN: 0938-8982
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  This article reviews the literature on the effectiveness of grade 
retention for high-risk students and discusses the implications of 
this research for students with learning disabilities.  It notes 
that, despite evidence that retention is ineffective for most 
students, many educators and laypersons continue to support this 
practice.  (DB)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; Elementary Secondary Education; 
*Grade Repetition; High Risk Students; *Instructional Effectiveness; 
*Learning Disabilities; Self Concept

  
  EJ471386  PS520960
  Reviews of Research: Retaining Children in Grade.
  Foster, Janet E.
  Childhood Education, v70 n1 p38-43 Fall   1993
  ISSN: 0009-4056
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  POSITION PAPER (120);  
JOURNAL ARTICLE (080)
  Discusses the practice of retaining children in grade, and presents 
evidence against the procedure.  Posits that failing children only 
increases the likelihood that they will perform poorly in school, 
develop poor self-concepts, and eventually drop out of school.  
Retention also disproportionately affects poor and minority children, 
males, and younger children.  (MDM)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; *Children; Dropouts; *Educational 
Policy; Elementary Education; *Grade Repetition; Racial Differences; 
Self Concept; Sex Differences; *Student Promotion

  
  ED364938  EA025464
  Closing the Gap: Acceleration vs. Remediation and the Impact of 
Retention in Grade on Student Achievement. The Commissioner's 
Critical Issue Analysis Series, Number 1.
  Dill, Vicky Schreiber
  Texas Education Agency, Austin.  1993
  103p.
  Available From: Texas Education Agency, Publications Distribution 
Office, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701-1494 ($2).
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  This publication provides a review of the research on issues 
relating to the gap in achievement between high- and low-performing 
students, focussing specifically on the topics of retention in grade, 
remediation of students who are underachieving, and accelerated 
instruction.  Following the executive summary and introductory 
material, three sections respond to the following questions: (1) Does 
retention work? If not, why not? (2) Does student remediation help? 
What kind, if any, helps close the gap? and (3) What helps students 
the most? Part 1 explains why grade retention does not work and why 
it persists.  The second part describes what works and offers 
highlights of current efforts to reform Chapter 1 programs.  Part 3 
describes accelerated instruction, restructured environments, and 
teacher recruitment, preparation, and development as innovative ways 
to increase student achievement.  Finally, the three most formidable 
predictors of failure for at-risk students are identified--deficit 
model schools, dysfunctional families, and a disengaged society.  An 
extensive bibliography is included.  (LMI)
  Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; *Acceleration (Education); 
Educational Change; Elementary School Students; Elementary Secondary 
Education; *Grade Repetition; *High Risk Students; Low Achievement; 
*Remedial Instruction; Secondary School Students; Student Placement; 
Student Promotion
  Identifiers: *Texas

  
  ED361122  PS021761
  Retention in Grade: Lethal Lessons?
  Sherwood, Charles
  1993
  13p.
  Document Type: POSITION PAPER (120);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Target Audience: Practitioners
  Despite a growing trend toward retention in grade of low-achieving 
students and apparent public support for the practice, many educators 
and psychologists disagree with the perception that flunking is an 
appropriate response to poor academic performance.  Research reported 
in the past two decades indicates that grade-level retention produces 
little improvement in student achievement.  Some studies presented 
evidence that students required to repeat a grade actually made less 
progress than comparable classmates who were promoted.  In addition, 
there are many studies that demonstrate significant psychological 
damage to children, particularly in terms of lowered self-esteem.  
Still others associate an increase in the dropout level with 
retention in grade.  In Florida, a number of approaches to improving 
student achievement without resorting to grade retention have been 
proposed.  Among them are the following: (1) tutorial programs, 
including peer tutoring, cross-age tutoring, and adult volunteer 
tutoring, coordinated with classroom instruction; (2) extended basic 
skills programs, which eliminate "non-essentials" from the student 
day, with the additional time being applied to reading, writing, and 
mathematics; (3) cooperative learning programs; (4) extended-year 
programs, achieved in Florida because of funding constraints through 
summer school; and (5) individualized instruction through such 
technologies as interactive video, word processing, and story 
starters.  (Contains 36 references.) (AC)
  Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; Academic Failure; Academic 
Standards; *Dropout Rate; Educational Trends; Elementary School 
Students; Elementary Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; Negative 
Attitudes; Outcomes of Education; *Psychological Needs; Secondary 
School Students; *Self Concept; Self Esteem; *Student Attrition; 
Student Motivation


  EJ452399  TM516801
  Effect of Grade Retention on Self-System Processes, School 
Engagement, and Academic Performance.
  Pierson, Louisa H.; Connell, James P.
  Journal of Educational Psychology, v84 n3 p300-07 Sep 
  1992
  ISSN: 0022-0663
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  RESEARCH REPORT (143)
  Seventy-four retained students in grades 3 through 6 were compared 
with 60 randomly selected students, 69 matched-ability students, and 
35 students who were socially promoted.  Early academic difficulties 
tend to persist.  Although retention does not eliminate academic 
problems, social promotion may exacerbate them.  (SLD)
  Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; Academic Failure; Cognitive 
Ability; Competence; Elementary Education; *Elementary School 
Students; *Grade Repetition; Intermediate Grades; Low Achievement; 
Peer Relationship; *Self Concept; Self Evaluation (Individuals); 
Student Motivation
  Identifiers: Effort; *Social Promotion; *Student Engagement

  
  ED343245  EA023790
  Longitudinal Effects of Nonpromotion in Junior High School.
  Lenarduzzi, Grant; McLaughlin, T. F.
  1992
  9p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International 
Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement (Victoria, British 
Columbia, Canada, January 2-5, 1992).
  Document Type: EVALUATIVE REPORT (142);  CONFERENCE PAPER (150)
  The issue of grade retention and social promotion is still a very 
controversial topic.  The empirical literature assessing the 
effectiveness of nonpromotion remains mixed.  Nonpromotion seems most 
effective with students in white, suburban, and middle-class school 
districts.  This paper describes a 4-year follow-up to an earlier 
controlled study by Lenarduzzi and McLaughlin (1990) showing that 
nonpromotion significantly improved seventh- and eighth-grade 
students' academic achievement and scholastic effort.  The present 
report evaluated the long-term effectiveness of grade retention and 
promotion for portions of this same sample, using data gathered over 
a 4-year period while the students attended junior and senior high 
school.  Of the original sample of 33, 18 student records could be 
located and examined.  All students had attended the same junior and 
senior secondary school in the school district in rural interior 
British Columbia, Canada.  Results indicated no significant 
differences for either attendance or grade point average between the 
promoted and the retained students.  In addition, both groups 
suffered from very high dropout rates.  School districts can work 
with parents of at-risk students and intervene early with skill-based 
instruction.  Possibly, both retained and promoted groups in this 
study needed building- and system-wide assistance.  Until such 
assistance is provided, the retention/promotion dilemma may be a moot 
issue.  (16 references) (MLH)
  Descriptors: Attendance; Dropout Rate; Foreign Countries; Grade 
Point Average; *Grade Repetition; *High Risk Students; Junior High 
Schools; *Longitudinal Studies; *Outcomes of Education; Parent School 
Relationship; Secondary Education; *Socioeconomic Status
  Identifiers: *British Columbia; *Social Promotion

  
  EJ419939  EA525094
  Promotion or Retention? Ideas Are Changing--Again.
  Natale, Jo Anna
  Executive Educator, v13 n1 p15-18 Jan   1991  
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Target Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
  Research findings indicate that grade retention leads to problems 
in student self-esteem and raises the dropout level.  A transition 
grade between kindergarten and first grade is also considered harmful 
to students.  Cites changes in different states' retention policies. (MLF)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; Elementary Secondary Education; 
*Grade Repetition; *High Risk Students; Problem Solving; *Self Esteem; 
*Student Needs; Student Promotion

  
  ED336493  UD028266
  Repeating a Grade: Time To Grow or Denial of Opportunity? Report 
No. 16.
  Karweit, Nancy L.
  Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged 
Students, Baltimore, MD.  May 1991
  20p.
  Sponsoring Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement 
(ED), Washington, DC.
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  This report examines the limitations of research that has been 
conducted on the effects of retention and social promotion.  It 
reexamines seven research studies that provide strong evidence based 
on strong methodology that includes the following three 
characteristics: (1) the studies identify the basis of comparison, 
that is, whether they are comparing the achievement of retained 
versus promoted students at the same age or same grade level; (2) the 
studies identify the specific kind of educational program that 
students receive after either retention or promotion; and (3) the 
studies examine the long-term effects of retention and promotion.  It 
is concluded that neither retention nor social promotion is a 
satisfactory response to the need to provide appropriate instruction 
for low performing students.  Two tables present summaries of the 
studies and their effect sizes.  A 29-item list of references is 
included.  (Author/SLD)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; Comparative Analysis; Educational 
Research; Elementary Education; *Grade Repetition; *High Risk 
Students; Literature Reviews; *Low Achievement; Meta Analysis; 
*Research Problems; Research Reports; Student Promotion
  Identifiers: *Social Promotion

  
  ED323585  EA021686
  Repeating Grades in School: Current Practice and Research Evidence. 
CPRE Policy Briefs.
  Center for Policy Research in Education.  1990
  9p.
  Document Type: EVALUATIVE REPORT (142);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Although grade repetition is prevalent in U.S. schools, recent 
research indicates that this practice does not work as intended to 
ensure basic skills mastery, avoid failure at higher grade levels, or 
lower dropout rates.  This report, based on "Flunking Grades: 
Research and Policies on Retention" (London: Falmer, 1989), edited by 
Lorrie A. Shepard and Mary Lee Smith, summarizes numerous questions 
about grade retention and the research evidence.  About 5 to 7 
percent of public school children are retained in the U.S. annually.  
By ninth grade, approximately 50 percent of all U.S. students have 
flunked at least one grade or are no longer in school.  Even 
kindergartners are flunking.  A 1989 research synthesis of 63 
controlled studies showed that when retained children went on to the 
next grade, they actually performed more poorly on average than if 
they had gone on without repeating.  Retained students also do more 
poorly than matched controls on followup measures of social 
adjustment, attitude toward school, behavioral outcomes, and 
attendance.  Student retention is also associated with an increased 
probability of dropping out.  Alternatives to grade retention include 
remedial help, before- and after-school programs, summer school, 
instructional aides working with target children in the regular 
classroom, and no-cost peer tutoring.  Each of these solutions 
results in more positive achievement gains for participating children 
than for controls.  Better data are needed to determine the costs of 
retention and the actual numbers of students involved.  Summarized 
information about costs, accelerated schools, and kindergarten 
retention is highlighted in boxes.  (Seven references) (MLH)
  Descriptors: *Basic Skills; *Dropouts; Educational Quality; 
Elementary Secondary Education; *Emotional Response; *Failure; *Grade 
Repetition; Kindergarten; Remedial Instruction; *Theory Practice 
Relationship
  Identifiers: *Social Promotion

  
  ED315710  CG022291
  Retention in Grade: A Failed Procedure.
  Balow, Irving H.; Schwager, Mahna
  California Educational Research Cooperative, Riverside.
  Feb 1990
  46p.
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  POSITION PAPER (120)
  Retention of pupils results in a need for additional teachers, 
facilities, and materials at a rate approximating the rate of 
retention.  Retention is a more serious problem for the state, which 
needs to pay most of these increased costs.  This paper reviews the 
research evidence to assess the cost-effectiveness of student 
retention policies.  Following a short review of the history of 
retention, the paper reviews the literature on the effectiveness of 
retention, then addresses the issue of retention as a means of 
maintaining the integrity of the curriculum.  It also considers the 
use of standardized tests or locally developed tests as important 
elements of promotion standards, and the reliability and validity of 
letter grades or marks, which provide the professional judgment on 
which retention may be based.  The conclusion is drawn that retention 
in grade has virtually no benefits for the pupils retained, their 
classmates, their teachers, or their schools.  References are 
included.  (Author/TE)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; *Academic Standards; Cost 
Effectiveness; *Educational Policy; Elementary Secondary Education; 
*Grade Repetition; Grades (Scholastic); Reliability; Student 
Promotion; Validity

  
  ED307350  UD026758
  Flunking Grades: Research and Policies on Retention. Education 
Policy Perspectives.
  Shepard, Lorrie A., Ed.; Smith, Mary Lee, Ed.
  1989
  243p.
  Available From: The Falmer Press, Taylor & Francis, Inc., 1900 
Frost Rd., Suite 101, Breistol, PA 19007 ($20.00 paperback--ISBN-1-
85000-339-4; $39.00 hardcover--ISBN-1-85000-6).
  Document Type: COLLECTION (020);  BOOK (010)
  Target Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Practitioners
  This book on the topic of flunking and grade retention comprises 
the following articles: (1) "Introduction and Overview" (Lorrie A. 
Shepard and Mary Lee Smith); (2) "Grade Level Retention Effects: A 
Meta-Analysis of Research Studies" (C.  Thomas Holmes); (3) 
"Repeating and Dropping Out of School" (James B. Grissom and Lorrie 
A. Shepard); (4) "A Review of Research on Kindergarten Retention" 
(Lorrie A. Shepard); (5) Academic and Emotional Effects of 
Kindergarten Retention in One School District" (Lorrie A. Shepard and 
Mary Lee Smith); (6) "Attitudes of Students, Parents, and Educators 
toward Repeating a Grade" (Deborah A. Byrnes); (7) "Teachers' Beliefs 
about Retention" (Mary Lee Smith); (8) "Ending Social Promotion in 
Waterford: Appearances and Reality" (Mary Catherine Ellwein and Gene 
V. Glass); (9) "Alternatives to Student Retention: New Images of the 
Learner, the Teacher and Classroom Learning" (Penelope L. Peterson); 
(10) "Policy Implications of Retention Research" (Ernest R. House); 
and (11) "Flunking Grades: A Recapitulation" (Lorrie A. Shepard and 
Mary Lee Smith).  Tables and figures illustrate the data in some of 
the articles; some of the articles include a list of references.  
Information about the contributors is appended; an index is included.  
(BJV)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; Dropouts; Educational Policy; 
Elementary Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; Kindergarten; *Low 
Achievement; Parent Attitudes; Policy Formation; Student Attitudes; 
Student Promotion; Teacher Attitudes
  Identifiers: *Social Promotion

  
  EJ393037  SP518680
  Historical Development of Age Stratification in Schooling.
  Angus, David L.; And Others
  Teachers College Record, v90 n2 p211-36 Win   1988
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  HISTORICAL MATERIAL (060)
  Two aspects of age segregation in American educational history are 
traced--segregation of children from adults due to expansion of 
public education in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and increasing 
stratification of children by age within schools due to the practice 
of age-grading.  (IAH)
  Descriptors: Ability Grouping; *Age Grade Placement; Educational 
Change; *Educational History; *Educational Quality; Elementary 
Secondary Education; Flexible Progression; Progressive Education; 
Rural Schools; Social History; *Student Promotion; Urban Schools
  Identifiers: *Social Promotion

 
  ED316923  EA021627
  Supporting Paper on Retention Position Statement for National 
Association of School Psychologists.
  Dawson, Margaret; And Others
  National Association of School Psychologists, Washington, DC.
  Sep 1988
  16p.
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Retention, the practice of requiring a student to repeat a 
particular grade or of delaying the entry to kindergarden or first 
grade of a child who is of appropriate chronological age, remains a 
common educational custom although little research exists to validate 
its effectiveness.  The literature review on retention effects 
contained within this document concludes that retention shows no 
clear benefits for students in terms of academic gains, personal 
and/or social growth, or attitude improvement toward school; 
furthermore, the review indicates that the policy of retention has 
increasingly been criticized for having negative effects in all these 
areas, and it has recently become associated with an increased risk 
of dropping out of school.  While it may be that retention helps some 
small percentage of students, our ability to predict exactly which 
students will benefit is exceedingly limited.  Given this lack of 
convincing evidence supporting the use of retention, this document 
suggests that it is imperative that school psychologists and 
educators give careful consideration to other options and 
alternatives that will better meet the needs of low-achieving 
students.  (36 references) (KM)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; Compensatory Education; Dropouts; 
Elementary Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; *High Risk 
Students; Low Achievement; Potential Dropouts; Remedial Programs; 
*Student Promotion; Under Achievement

  
  ED296787  PS017437
  A Review of Research Literature on the Effects of Pupil Retention.
  Towner, Daniel R.
  21 Jul 1988
  47p.; Exit Paper, Indiana University at South Bend.
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  BIBLIOGRAPHY (131);  
DISSERTATION (040)
  Target Audience: Practitioners
  Based on research selected from a search of the ERIC database, this 
literature review covers material that concerns academic achievement 
of retained students, social and psychological effects of retention, 
and recommendations for educators making retention decisions.  After 
a definition of terms, 31 articles are extensively annotated.  Most 
research suggested that retention did not significantly improve 
academic achievement.  Existing data did not support competency-based 
promotions.  Delay of school entry and use of special transition 
classes were ineffective in bolstering achievement scores.  (RH)
  Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; Annotated Bibliographies; 
*Educational Practices; Elementary Education; *Elementary School 
Students; *Grade Repetition; Guidelines; Literature Reviews; 
*Psychological Patterns; *Social Development

  
  ED300119  PS017600
  Twice in One Grade = A False Solution. A Review of the Pedagogical 
Practice of Grade Retention in Elementary Schools: What Do We Know? 
Should the Practice Continue?
  Ostrowski, Patricia Maslin
  1 Nov 1987
  50p.; Based on a Ph.D. Dissertation, Harvard University.
  Sponsoring Agency: Rhode Island State Dept. of Education, 
Providence.
  Document Type: EVALUATIVE REPORT (142);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  This monograph reviews pertinent research and issues concerning 
grade retention in an effort to understand the implications for 
retention and promotion policies, especially in elementary schools.  
The monograph discusses 11 topics, including: (1) the historical 
context of retention and promotion; (2) the link between grade 
retention and dropouts; (3) the number of students retained and their 
characteristics; (4) financial costs of grade retention; (5) court 
decisions concerning retention and promotion; (6) analysis of 
research that indicates disadvantages or advantages of elementary 
grade retention; (7) methodological problems which cast doubt on most 
research findings; (8) transition classes as an alternative to 
retention; (9) dropout and higher education retention literature; 
(10) implications for policymakers; and (11) reasons that retention 
practices persist.  A list of 63 references is included.  (RJC)
  Descriptors: Academic Achievement; Cost Estimates; Court Litigation; 
Dropout Prevention; Educational Strategies; Elementary Education; 
Elementary School Students; *Grade Repetition; *Program Effectiveness; 
*School Holding Power; *School Policy; *Student Promotion; 
Transitional Programs

  
  EJ353941  EC192468
  The Development of Guidelines for Grade Retention.
  Dennler, Jeanne S.; And Others
  Journal of Reading, Writing, and Learning Disabilities 
International, v2 n3 p197-201   1986
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141);  
REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  The history of the strategy of grade retention for low achieving 
students is briefly reviewed and conflicts concerning its efficacy 
are summarized.  Current research aimed at identifying specific 
criteria (including some found to be correlates of learning 
disabilities) which aid educators in making retention decisions is 
described.  (Author/DB)
  Descriptors: *Decision Making; Elementary Secondary Education; 
*Grade Repetition; History; *Learning Disabilities; *Low Achievement; 
*Student Placement
  
  
  EJ334277  EA519922
  Student Promotion and Retention.
  Overman, Monica
  Phi Delta Kappan, v67 n8 p609-13 Apr   1986  
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  
RESEARCH REPORT (143)
  Based on a Phi Delta Kappa/Center on Evaluation, Development, and 
Research (CEDR) literature search, this article discusses Gregg 
Jackson's 1975 comprehensive review of 44 studies examining the 
effect of grade repetition on low-achieving children's performance.  
Reviews later research identifying effective retention strategies and 
alternatives to retention.  Nineteen references are included.  (MLH)
  Descriptors: Academic Achievement; Elementary Secondary Education; 
*Grade Repetition; *Student Promotion

  
  ED272990  EA018724
  Elementary Grade Retention: Making the Decision.
  Bucko, Richard
  Apr 1986
  12p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National 
Association of Elementary School Principals (Las Vegas, NV, April 14-
18, 1986).
  Document Type: CONFERENCE PAPER (150);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Target Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
  Today's administrators must exercise caution in using student 
retention as a means of responding to changing social values and to 
the current media attention on declining standardized test scores.  
Recent reviews of hundreds of studies of student retention have 
concluded that some low achieving students do benefit from retention, 
but the majority of retained students show no consistent benefits 
from retention and score lower than promoted students in areas of 
academic achievement, personal adjustment, self-concept, attitude 
toward school, and attendance.  Although research is still 
inconclusive, and alternatives to retention often exist, the works of 
L. Wayne Light and Laurence Lieberman identify factors principals can 
use to judge an individual retention candidate as well as to develop 
a model for a decision-making process for retention.  The essentials 
of a model for retention must include: (1) a clearly written policy 
adopted by the local school board, (2) a decision-making procedure 
with stated time lines and position responsibilities, and (3) 
effective communication with parents and the school community on the 
policy and procedure.  Appendix A provides a sample policy statement.  
Appendix B provides a sample retention worksheet for use by the 
principal.  Fourteen references are appended.  (IW)
  Descriptors: Academic Achievement; *Achievement Rating; 
Administrator Role; Decision Making; Elementary Education; 
*Evaluation Criteria; *Grade Repetition; Guidelines; *Policy 
Formation; Principals; Student Development; Student Evaluation; 
*Student Promotion

  
  EJ323569  EA519040
  To Promote or Not to Promote?
  Medway, Frederic J.
  Principal, v64 n3 p22-25 Jan   1985  
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Target Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
  Reviews the history of grade repetition as a remedy for inadequate 
student achievement, examines recent trends in grade repetition 
policies, cites research findings relating to the effectiveness of 
grade repetition, clarifies the responsibilities of school personnel 
in making grade repetition decisions, and discusses alternatives to 
simple repetition policies.  (PGD)
  Descriptors: Academic Failure; Educational Policy; Educational 
Trends; Elementary Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; School 
Psychologists; Staff Role; *Student Promotion; Trend Analysis

  
  EJ315804  PS513382
  Grade Retention and Social Promotion Practices.
  Cooke, Gary; Stammer, John
  Childhood Education, v61 n4 p302-08 Mar-Apr   1985
  Thematic issue: Emerging Adolescents: Their Needs and Concerns  
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Reviews research on the effects of grade retention and discusses 
two models for making decisions about promotion.  Concludes that 
neither grade retention nor social promotion necessarily solves the 
academic difficulties of low-achieving students.  Discusses 
possibilities for altering existing curriculum, teaching, and 
learning.  (CB)
  Descriptors: *Decision Making; *Educational Improvement; Elementary 
Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; Literature Reviews; Models; 
*Outcomes of Education; Placement; *Student Promotion

  
  EJ313103  TM510393
  Retention and Social Promotion for the Exceptional Child.
  Carstens, Andrea Andrews
  School Psychology Review, v14 n1 p48-63 Win   1985
  Paper completed in partial fulfillment of the preliminary 
examination requirement in the doctoral program at the University of 
North Carolina at Greensboro. Bowman Gary School of Medicine, in 
Winston-Salem, NC, and the Industrial Commission of Ohio provided 
financial support for its revision.  
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  The theoretical and empirical support available for retention and 
social promotion, specifically for exceptional children, is reviewed.  
The impact of these procedures on academic performance, self esteem, 
and social development is discussed.  It is concluded that these 
procedures are not effective interventions for children with school 
failure.  (DWH)
  Descriptors: *Academic Failure; Age Grade Placement; Elementary 
Education; *Exceptional Persons; *Grade Repetition; Learning 
Disabilities; Maturity (Individuals); Self Esteem; Slow Learners; 
*Student Placement
  Identifiers: *Social Promotion

  
  EJ311273  CG527731
  Nonpromotion: A Pseudoscientific Solution.
  Niklason, Lucille B.
  Psychology in the Schools, v21 n4 p485-99 Oct   1984  
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  
RESEARCH REPORT (143)
  Reviews school retention practices, compares children recommended 
for retention (N=144) with controls (N=68), and examines the effects 
of retention with promotion in similarly functioning children.  
Results indicated retention did not benefit children academically or 
in personal or social adjustment.  (JAC)
  Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; Elementary Secondary Education; 
*Grade Repetition; *Student Adjustment; *Student Characteristics; 
Student Improvement

  
  EJ307802  TM510157
  The Effects of Nonpromotion on Elementary and Junior High School 
Pupils: A Meta-Analysis.
  Holmes, C. Thomas; Matthews, Kenneth M.
  Review of Educational Research, v54 n2 p225-36 Sum 
  1984
  Adapted from a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the 
American Educational Research Association (67th, Montreal, Quebec, 
April 11-15, 1983).
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  RESEARCH REPORT (143);  
REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Target Audience: Researchers
  Data from 44 studies were mathematically integrated to determine 
the effect of grade-level retention on elementary and/or junior high 
school pupils.  Grand means and effect sizes of dependent variable 
measures, including academic achievement and personal adjustment, 
were calculated.  Outcomes for promoted pupils were more positive 
than for retained pupils.  (Author/BS)
  Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; Elementary Education; *Grade 
Repetition; Meta Analysis; *Outcomes of Education; Research 
Methodology; Self Concept; Student Adjustment; Student Attitudes; 
Student Placement; *Student Promotion

  
  EJ299543  EA517770
  Synthesis of Research on Grade Retention and Social Promotion.
  Johnson, James R.
  Educational Leadership, v41 n8 p66-68 May   1984  
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  This literature review cautions that the issue of whether promotion 
or retention is more beneficial to student achievement is especially 
murky when it becomes a political decision.  It concludes that grade 
retention seems to ignore the question of instructional 
effectiveness, blames the child for failure, and absolves the school 
of responsibility.  (MJL)
  Descriptors: Educational Administration; *Educational Research; 
Elementary Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; School 
Effectiveness; *Student Development; Student Improvement; *Student 
Promotion
  Identifiers: *New York (New York); *Promotional Gates Program

  
  EJ292731  CG525400
  A Legal Look at the Retention-Promotion Controversy.
  Stroup, Stinson W.; Zirkel, Perry A.
  Journal of School Psychology, v21 n3 p213-17 Fall   1983 
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Reviewed court cases concerning student retention and found that 
courts generally defer to the promotion-retention decisions of school 
officials.  However, courts may demand additional justification for 
retention decisions based on a single criteria and are likely to 
overturn school retention decisions that have a disproportionate 
impact on minority students.  (JAC)
  Descriptors: *Court Litigation; Elementary Secondary Education; 
*Evaluation Criteria; *Grade Repetition; Minority Groups; School 
Responsibility; *Student Evaluation; *Student Promotion; Students

  
  EJ292730  CG525399
  A Fresh Look at the Retention-Promotion Controversy.
  Rose, Janet S.; And Others
  Journal of School Psychology, v21 n3 p201-11 Fall   1983  
  Document Type: NON-CLASSROOM MATERIAL (055);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Reviews issues relative to retention of schoolchildren.  Includes a 
historical perspective on the retention-promotion controversy, 
information on retention policies and retention prevalence rates, a 
review of research on the effectiveness of retention, and a 
discussion of factors that should be considered by psychologists 
making retention and promotion recommendations.  (Author/JAC)
  Descriptors: Academic Failure; Counselor Role; Elementary Secondary 
Education; *Grade Repetition; School Policy; School Psychologists; 
*Student Evaluation; Student Placement; *Student Promotion; Students

  
  EJ288931  SP513309
  The Fourth R: Retention.
  Holmes, C. Thomas
  Journal of Research and Development in Education, v17 n1 p1-6 Fall 
  1983  
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  RESEARCH REPORT (143)
  Studies comparing the reading, mathematics, and language arts 
achievement of retained students with the achievement of promoted 
students are analyzed, using meta-analysis.  Overall, research 
indicates that retained students fall behind the first year of 
retention and spend the rest of their academic careers in a vain 
attempt to catch up.  (PP)
  Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; Elementary Education; *Grade 
Repetition; Language Arts; Mathematics Achievement; Meta Analysis; 
*Outcomes of Education; Reading Achievement; *Student Promotion; 
*Student Reaction

  
  EJ286051  SP513180
  It's Time to Get Tough on Student Promotion--Or Is It?
  Norton, M. Scott
  Contemporary Education, v54 n4 p283-86 Sum   1983
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  
PROJECT DESCRIPTION (141)
  Research regarding the promotion or retention of students has shown 
consistently that non-promotion is not an aid to pupil achievement, 
personal development, or motivation.  Alternative strategies for 
dealing with underachievers are discussed.  (PP)
  Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; Academic Failure; Elementary 
Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; Grouping (Instructional 
Purposes); *Outcomes of Education; Self Esteem; *Social Development; 
Student Attitudes; Student Motivation; *Student Promotion

  
  EJ276065  CS727756
  Grade Retention: Evolving Expectations and Individual Differences.
  Lindvig, Elise Kay
  Clearing House, v56 n6 p253-56 Feb   1983
  Document Type: JOURNAL ARTICLE (080);  REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Reviews the history of the practice of having students repeat 
grades and examines the research both for and against the practice.(FL)
  Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; *Educational History; 
Elementary Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; School Holding 
Power; Self Concept; *Student Promotion

  
  ED239368  EA016327
  Setting the Standard: The Characteristics & Consequences of 
Alternative Student Promotional Policies.
  Labaree, David F.
  Citizens Committee on Public Education in Philadelphia, PA.
  [1983
  55p.; For the executive summary, see EA 016 328. Prepared for the 
Promotion Standards Committee.
  Sponsoring Agency: Philadelphia Foundation, Pa.; Samuel S. Fels 
Fund, Philadelphia, Pa.
  Document Type: EVALUATIVE REPORT (142)
  Target Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
  Examining student promotion standards in American education, the 
author reviews the origins and history of the shift between merit 
promotion (which advances students based on demonstrated skill 
competence) and social promotion (which advances students in response 
to their social needs).  Case studies of promotional policies are 
provided for schools in Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, 
Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Milwaukee; analyses of their 
promotional standards are based on seven criteria.  While the 
national movement toward raising student promotional standards is 
based on the assumption that there is a relation between promotion 
and performance, the author outlines how research evidence is 
inconclusive.  Current empirical literature on the subject leaves 
only one conclusion: there is no valid evidence demonstrating that 
either promotion or retention has any significant impact on low 
achieving students.  Nevertheless, the author provides suggestions 
for implementing higher standards in promotional policies.  
Concluding that there is an absence of evidence clearly defining one 
form of promotional policy as most effective, the author points out 
that the choices must be made on the basis of social values.  (MD)
  Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; Educational History; 
Educational Research; Elementary Secondary Education; Flexible 
Progression; *Grade Repetition; Social Values; Student Placement; 
*Student Promotion
  Identifiers: *Merit Promotion; *Social Promotion

  
  ED237840  CG017094
  The Identification of Students Who Would Benefit from Retention.
  Stiles, Rebecca Jo
  Aug 1983
  51p.
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070);  POSITION PAPER (120);  
BIBLIOGRAPHY (131)
  Target Audience: Practitioners; Parents
  In order to identify factors which indicate a student would benefit 
educationally from retention, and to provide information and 
recommendations to educators, parents, and others involved in the 
decision to retain a child, this paper addresses the issue of 
retention in four major areas: the historical basis of retention, 
negative and positive effects of retention, and decision making 
models and plans for retention.  The introduction presents an 
exploration of the retention issue, a discussion of the organization 
and limitations of the review, and a glossary of relevant terms.  An 
annotated bibliography is presented for each of the four areas 
considered; annotations in the first area are arranged 
chronologically and annotations in the remaining sections are 
alphabetical.  A summary of the material reviewed and conclusions and 
recommendations based on the review are presented in the final 
section.  A bibliography is also included.  (MCF)
  Descriptors: Academic Achievement; *Academic Failure; Annotated 
Bibliographies; Decision Making; *Grade Repetition; Literature 
Reviews; Opinion Papers; Parent Child Relationship; *Parent School 
Relationship; *School Policy; Social Development; Student Development; 
Student Placement; Student Promotion

  
  ED243216  EA016712
  The Literature on Social Promotion versus Retention.
  Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, Tex.
  Sep 1981
  52p.
  Sponsoring Agency: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
  Document Type: REVIEW LITERATURE (070)
  Target Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Teachers; 
Practitioners
  This general review of the relative merits of social promotion and 
retention examines research on the benefits of each, describes 
current strategies for resolving the policy dilemma involved, and 
considers issues raised by abolishing social promotion and 
establishing remedial programs.  A summary of the history of the 
widespread adoption of the social promotion policy precedes a 
literature review outlining arguments against both social promotion 
and retention.  The review then describes studies indicating that 
retention appears to have a beneficial effect on elementary school 
students and that the self-concepts of promoted and retained 
elementary students are virtually the same.  Some new approaches to 
the problem are offered in the following section, which presents 
guidelines for selecting children for retention, lists strategies for 
individualizing instruction, describes one widely publicized example 
of a district that abolished social promotion and reorganized its 
schools, and reports the experience of a teacher who decided not to 
follow her school's social promotion policy.  A final section 
considers competency based education, financial concerns, and legal 
implications.  The paper concludes that while competency testing and 
remedial programs are expensive and often controversial, schools 
appear to feel that they are serving students better through such 
policies.  A bibliography is appended.  (Author/MJL)
  Descriptors: Academic Achievement; Competency Based Education; Cost 
Estimates; Elementary Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; Public 
Schools; Remedial Programs; School Administration; *School 
Effectiveness; School Law; *School Policy; Self Concept; *Student 
Development; Student Evaluation; *Student Promotion
  Identifiers: Greensville County School District VA

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