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Known facts about grade retention:

1. Students who are held back have negative academic, social, and emotional outcomes in the long run. Students who repeat a grade are more likely to be bullied or participate in bullying because they have unsupported learning or behavior problems or are a different age than the other students in their grade. Parents of retained students are more likely to have lower expectations for their child's academic accomplishments; Parents of retained students are more likely to have lower expectations for their child's academic achievement.

2.Students of color, Latinos, Native Americans, and English learners are adversely affected by grade retention. Black, Native American, Latino, and English learners are more likely to repeat a grade than Asian or White students. • Students of color who are held back are more likely to be disciplined and are less likely to graduate and continue their education beyond high school. Latino English learners who are held back in the early grade levels are more likely to be disengaged in class, receive less teacher support, and have lower literacy skills.

3. Long-term grade retention is only possible with significant extra supports. A recent study of Latino English learners who were held back but eventually succeeded demonstrated the effectiveness of intensive supports. During the retained year, these students received at least 90 minutes of daily targeted reading instruction from high-performing teachers. These students significantly improved their reading test scores, became fluent in English faster, and were more likely to enroll in advanced courses in middle and high school. Unfortunately, the majority of students do not receive these benefits during their retained year.

4. There are numerous more effective and less expensive interventions available to assist students with incomplete learning. According to recent research, students of color are more likely to require remediation even if they have previously demonstrated academic success. This research also shows that students who received accelerated learning struggled less and performed better than students who received remediation. When done correctly, targeted intensive tutoring can accelerate learning and double the amount of knowledge students typically gain in a school year. Building strong relationships with teachers and school staff is an important but often overlooked strategy for supporting student learning, which can dramatically increase students' motivation and promote learning. According to research, students who have more access to high-quality relationships are more academically engaged, have stronger social skills, and exhibit more positive behavior. Strong relationships also lay the groundwork for student engagement, belonging, and, eventually, learning. The more positive relationships students have with their teachers, the more engaged they are in school. According to research, increasing the number of hours of instruction students receive during the school day can help students of all ages get on grade level.

5. Many states have policies requiring or allowing students to be held back based on test scores. School leaders generally oppose legislators' decisions to hold students back. The most common retention policies enacted in the United States are laws requiring schools to hold students back if they fail to meet a certain benchmark on third grade reading tests. At least 18 states require retention, and 12 states permit retention based on these reading tests.

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