As a first grade teacher the possibility of retention is something I face more often. This year, however, was the first time I've seriously considered it for a student. He is young, a June birthday, and struggling academically. He is also very mature for his age, a factor that ultimately made me argue against retention and he will be going on to second grade. I hope that is the right decision for him.
At the end of that day, my brilliant colleague wrote about our retention committee. Her thoughts are, as always, well worth reading but this question struck me hard:
Would it give a student confidence and build them up or would it send the message that her hard work was being rewarded by being held back?A couple of days later I read a piece by Diane Ravitch on this same topic. Her post is titled, Is School Retention Child Abuse? so you can see her thoughts. Again it is worth reading. She writes about the school psychologists' perspective on retention and it isn't pretty.
My colleague's question and Ravitch's thoughts are driving my stand on retention. I have been against it (not across the board but in general) for years and now I feel more strongly.