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Retention and Promotion

Grade retention is defined as the practice of requiring a student who has attended a given grade level for a full school year to remain at that same grade level for the following school year. Other commonly used terms to describe grade retention are “being retained,” “being held back,” “nonpromotion,” and “flunking.” Recent estimates suggest that 5% to 10% of students are retained annually in the United States, which translates to more than 2.5 million children every year who are required to complete an extra year of school. The use of grade retention as an academic intervention has increased over the past 30 years. Grade retention is increasingly popular within the current sociopolitical climate, which emphasizes high standards and accountability.

Considering its popularity as an academic ...

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