Cover: Think Again

Think Again

Is Grade Retention Bad for Kids?

Published in: The Thomas B. Fordham Institute website (October 2023)

Posted on rand.org Oct 23, 2023

by Umut Ozek, Louis T. Mariano

For many years, the conventional wisdom in the field was that grade retention was a bad idea. A 1997 opinion piece in Education Week titled “Grade retention doesn’t work” reflected the prevailing sentiment in the education community and the available research evidence at that time: retained students performed worse than their promoted peers in the years that followed. This brief challenges that notion, based on more recent studies that do a better job of isolating the causal effect of retention.

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