Can Retention be good for a Student?
In today’s society, there is a large debate of what is best for a child’s learning development when they are below level in learning. Educators debate the fact about whether grade retention is good for a student, or is it more appropriate to advance them with their peers, and there is research available to support what is being said. What is meant by retention or non-promotion is having a child repeat a particular grade or requiring a child of appropriate age to postpone entry to the next grade. In doing research I have found some interesting facts, and one of the biggest impacts I have found was by using the search engine to research positive effects of grade retention, the results that were found showed that there is not much available to support the facts. By retaining a child can be extremely hurtful to their self-esteem, risk ridicule and bullying from other children and may also increase behaviors caused by retention. Other things to consider would be at what cost will a child be retained, and what are the results as the child grows older. There are different options that could be considered as opposed to retention. The cost of retaining a child varies from on an average of $5,000 per year and the cost of the child’s shame and embarrassment should also be considered. So why not take this money and apply it to meeting the needs of a student in the areas where he or she might require the help as opposed to causing any shame and embarrassment one might experience. As a mother of two classified children who were faced with learning disabilities and one who just had difficulty learning. I was always told the worst thing you can do to a child who has difficulty learning is retained them, let alone if they were classified. For the simple fact that a child already beats themselves up by thinking they are stupid that they cannot learn what all their friends seem to be learning, and by doing this they are killing whatever self-esteem they have left. I found it helpful to know there was more than one option out there for my children. I made the choice not to have my children retained based on what I researched and what I thought was best for my children. My children stayed with their peers, obtained extra help by attending pull out service and in class support, and whatever other services were available by which was provided by my school district. I also had the advantage of the government on my side because my children were classified; the school district received extra money for my children’s education. If a child is retained, it might give them the opportunity to relearn, refresh and acquire the skills that were missed the first time around and might help them move to the next grade level (Malone, 2005). But what happens when these children who get “caught up” in the skills and are not with their own peers? The ridicule that they receive from their new set of peers begins to set in and their self-esteem becomes crushed. In addition, what happens after that first year of retention, when the child is caught up on that level and then begins to fall behind in the years to come? Does this child keep getting retained? Or does someone come up with new ideas? The intentions of the educators, I am sure, think they are doing what is best for the child, but in reality is seems to be more of a gamble. When a child does not meet the standards of the school district to continue with his or her peers, some feel it makes sense to retain them and let them repeat the grade. The hope is that these children will pass the grade the second time around. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as a nation we fail to promote 13% of our students (Bowser, 1998). According to Philip Bowser (NEA Today, 1998), a district-wide school psychology, who had followed children who were retained over the years, the results might have seemed good after the first year,...
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