Should I Retain My Child in Kindergarten?
What are your opinions about this topic?
Have you had negative or positive
experiences with school retention?
At this time of year, it is common for teachers to suggest retaining a child another year in Kindergarten or first grade. Many teachers suggest that this is the best remedy for a child who may be immature or not up to the academic standards of the other children in the grade.
We must ask the question that if a child is failing in school, what must we do differently to help him/her succeed, rather than forcing the child to repeat a grade.
Studies have shown that retention does not always work:
When retention is suggested for a child, parents should consider :
Jimerson, Anderson, and Whipple contend that “retention was found to be one of the most powerful predictors of high school dropout.” They also question the commonly held belief that retention in kindergarten or first grade is less adverse than retention occurring in later grades. They quote a researcher who summarized the literature in this area: “Retention in kindergarten or first grade does not produce long-lasting academic gains, but rather increases the likelihood that the student will become a high school dropout.”
1. A comprehensive evaluation should be considered to identify the child’s strengths and weaknesses. We must understand the child’s unique learning abilities before we suggest the solution.
2. Once testing is done, an individual education plan should be designed with clear goals and ways to measure the goals. This is best done when parents and schools work together to achieve the best results.
3. There should be ongoing meetings between parents and the school staff to check on the progress of the child and his/her educational plan. If the child is still failing to meet the goals, new plans much be modified and/or replaced.
4. When retention is being suggested, parents and staff should be aware of the many studies which show the lack of benefits of retention and the negative long term effects.
This is a highly controversial matter which occurs every year for many students and their families.
What do you think?