LOS ANGELES — A new study by the Public Policy Institute of California reports that students retained by the 2nd grade made huge improvements, with much higher percentages reaching full proficiency in math and english.
The study also highlighted the risk factors, or the students most likely to be retained. The most significant indicator is age, as students who enter kindergarten early are increasingly more likely to be held back before the sixth grade. Another factor is sex. Boys are retained far more often than girls are. Low-income students and African American and Latino students were more likely to be retained.
Critics of the report cite data from The Center for Development and Learning, a nonprofit organization that does research on strategies for success in education, that estimated the cost of retention at $13 billion a year.