The effects of grade-level retention in the early grades
Policies are increasing the pressure for students to gain grade-level mastery. For example, federal legislation mandates that all children are able to read by third grade. This increased demand on teachers and schools has lead to more students being retained, especially in the early grades. Researchers have studied the effectiveness of retention, in the early elementary grades, in order to establish the immediate and later effects on academics, behavior development, and special education participation. Through an extensive search and analysis it was determined that retention has a largely negligible impact on student performance and has been unsuccessful in closing the achievement gap. Implications, limitations, and future research are discussed.