Should Struggling Students Repeat a Grade?

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Dr. Ionel Coltea

Should Struggling Students Repeat a Grade?

Should struggling students repeat a grade? The answer to that question will vary with each child, but many schools and parents consider it for their child. Sometimes, a student can benefit from repeating a grade if he or she is behind the class in other areas. In such cases, it may be beneficial to repeat the grade so that the child can catch up and master the material. In other cases, a child may need more assistance than expected.

When schools and teachers start to question whether a student should repeat a grade, they are more likely to recommend that the child go ahead. This approach can build up a child’s confidence after a difficult year. However, a child’s confidence in other areas may be harmed if the school forces a student to repeat a grade. If this happens, other students might benefit from the repeated grade.

Repeating a grade can also lead to emotional and social problems. The child may have a poor self-esteem and feel disconnected from his or her peers. If a child repeats a grade, it can damage their self-esteem and their ability to fit into a group. Moreover, achievement gains from repeated grades typically fade away after three years. As a result, parents should weigh all possible effects before making a final decision on whether to repeat a grade.

While repeating grades are not particularly effective interventions, there is some evidence that they may benefit struggling students. The majority of the studies conducted on retention suggest that students who repeat a grade do not fare significantly better than their peers. Some studies show that repeating a grade may even improve students’ self-concept, but the gains are short-lived and may not be enough to offset the negative effects on a student’s self-esteem.

While the decision to promote or retain a child depends on the family’s goals, it is often mandated by the school. Moreover, if a student is struggling academically, promoting them may do more harm than good. Parents do not have to accept that, however. They should explore the benefits and drawbacks of each option and make an educated decision based on their child’s unique situation.

Despite the positive aspects of retention, there is still much debate surrounding the practice. The controversial practice of grade retention is not effective academically and may harm students and the school system. A recent study by the National Association of School Psychologists found that 14 percent of students in Colorado were classified as having a significant reading deficiency. That means that students are significantly behind their peers in reading, and many of these children are at risk of not learning to read.

One way to help struggling students is to encourage voluntary grade retention. This type of retention occurs when parents or caregivers ask for a repeat year and wait until their child reaches a certain grade level before enrolling in a new class. This process is often known as redshirting, and research on voluntary grade retention is scarce. Still, if it is used sparingly, it can prove beneficial. There are many benefits to redshirting, and it is a better option than allowing a child to repeat a grade.

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