School Retention Vs. Social Promotion Discussion Chapter

Excerpt from Discussion Chapter :

For school retention, the major reason for support of this was academic achievement. If the child does not meet the set benchmarks for performance, the decision-making panel simply agreed to retention of the student. There was no formal assessment system for this decision process.

These results were supported by the result of the study conducted by Hong and Raudenbush (2006)

who found that student achievement were used in state and district schools to decide social promotion vs. school retention instead of formal systems of assessment of student performance. According to these findings, the schools that used academic achievement as the main criterion for social promotion did not bother to understand how the decision affected the student for who the decision was being made and the other students in general. The findings of these authors showed that these were very important aspects in the general performance of the school itself and the students.

The stakeholders that were involved in the process were majorly the members of the school board, class teacher, and administrators. Parents were not involved in the process and were simply informed of the outcome of the process. This was thought to be better since the decision for social promotion can be marred by social pressure if the parent is involved. This is because if social promotion is not accepted for the child, the child will have to be retained.

Involvement of parents in school retention vs. social promotion decisions

The respondents showed mixed feelings on the importance of parents being involved in the decision process. This was in line with the findings of Hong and Raudenbush (2005)

who found that different school stakeholders felt differently about the involvement of parents. This can be thought to result from the expectation that parents have on the schools to help their children improve their knowledge. Therefore the social pressures from parents are thought to emerge from this.

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/> Alternatives to social promotion and retention

Merit promotion is supported as the best alternative to social promotion and retention. Merit promotion as stated by Bali, Anagnostopoulos, and Roberts (2005)

is simply mid-term promotion or course-based promotion which allows the students to advance at a pace set by their own ability. In this strategy, underperforming students are given the chances of being together with their peers and as a result of their talents or gifts. Merit promotion has been shown by several studies including that of Jimerson and Renshaw (2012)

which showed that both social promotion and school retention have short- and long-term negative effects which do not exist with merit promotion. Merit promotion accommodates each student uniquely and accepts that not all students can be high achievers academically. Therefore it accommodates the best of social promotion and the best of school retention to create a sort of midpoint which takes into account the advantages and disadvantages of both.

References

Bali, V.A., Anagnostopoulos, D., & Roberts, R. (2005). Toward a Political Explanation of Grade Retention. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 27(2), 133-155. doi: 10.2307/3699523

Hong, G., & Raudenbush, S.W. (2005). Effects of Kindergarten Retention Policy on Children's Cognitive Growth in Reading and Mathematics. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 27(3), 205-224. doi: 10.2307/3699569

Hong, G., & Raudenbush, S.W. (2006). Evaluating Kindergarten Retention Policy: A Case Study of Causal Inference for Multilevel Observational Data. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 101(475), 901-910. doi: 10.2307/27590770

Jacob, B.A., & Lefgren, L. (2009). The Effect of Grade Retention on High School Completion. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(3), 33-58. doi: 10.2307/25760170

Jimerson, S.R., & Renshaw, T.L. (2012). Retention and Social Promotion. Principal Leadership, September, 12-16.

Lee, V.E., & Burkam, D.T. (2003). Dropping out of High School: The Role of School Organization and Structure. American Educational Research Journal, 40(2), 353-393. doi: 10.2307/3699393

Rumberger, R.W., & Palardy, G.J. (2005). Test Scores, Dropout Rates, and Transfer Rates as Alternative Indicators of High School Performance. American Educational Research Journal, 42(1), 3-42. doi: 10.2307/3699454

Tsao, H.Y., Lin, P.C., Pitt, L., & Campbell, C.…

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References

Bali, V.A., Anagnostopoulos, D., & Roberts, R. (2005). Toward a Political Explanation of Grade Retention. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 27(2), 133-155. doi: 10.2307/3699523

Hong, G., & Raudenbush, S.W. (2005). Effects of Kindergarten Retention Policy on Children's Cognitive Growth in Reading and Mathematics. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 27(3), 205-224. doi: 10.2307/3699569

Hong, G., & Raudenbush, S.W. (2006). Evaluating Kindergarten Retention Policy: A Case Study of Causal Inference for Multilevel Observational Data. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 101(475), 901-910. doi: 10.2307/27590770

Jacob, B.A., & Lefgren, L. (2009). The Effect of Grade Retention on High School Completion. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(3), 33-58. doi: 10.2307/25760170

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