Last month, I stumbled upon a memo addressed to all elementary school principals, strongly advising them not to retain kids in the same grade for a second year — particularly kindergartners, English learners and special education students (unless that is part of their education plan).
“First off, the research is clear; retention does not work,” it says.
The memo gives various alternatives, ranging from “culturally sensitive instructional strategies” to before- and after-school interventions and better communication with families. It also said that “all retentions will have to be personally approved by your NExO (the principal’s supervisor) in May of 2008.”
It has a 2009 date stamp, so maybe it was just distributed again this year as a reminder. You can read it here.
What do you think? Is “social promotion” the way to go if, in fact, retention doesn’t work anyway?