Grade retention and social promotion are widely used, yet highly controversial, educational practices used to promote student academic achievement. Grade retention (also known as “grade repetition” or “failing a grade”) occurs when a student repeats the current grade rather than being promoted to the next grade with his peers. Social promotion occurs when a student is promoted to the next grade with his or her peers, regardless of his or her academic record. Both grade retention and social promotion are common in developing and developed countries. The extent to which each is used depends on many factors, including the organization of the educational system and access to secondary and postsecondary education. Currently, the debate over how to handle inadequate academic progress centers on grade retention ...

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