Sample Essay on Grade of Retention and the Age/Grade of Outcomes

Grade retention entails demanding that a student who has been studying in a given grade level for a full academic year to remain in the same grade for the consequent school year. This has been a controversial topic in most countries for decades now with no clear-cut strategies to accomplish this initiative. For other academic research professionals, getting the difference between the students that is to be retained and the one to be promoted entails categorizing the students based on some intrinsic features such as gender, age, and socio-economic background among other characteristics, and determining the total number that is retained or promoted. Nevertheless, the articles are not explicit on the specific reason for grade retention based on the discussed features of a student required to be retained in a particular grade. Before making any decision regarding grade retention, the reading and writing abilities of a student should be determined coupled with the socio-economic conditions of the learner.

These will help in determining the specific problems the learner may be facing that may be interfering with the learning processes and therein define appropriate remedy other than grade retention. The articles further give a comparison between the outcomes of retaining the underperforming students at an earlier or later age or grade. The comparison does not provide convincing reasons why the academic progress of learners who were retained keeps on deteriorating compared to those who were promoted. Grade retention ultimately affects the social life of a student and may result into a lowered self-esteem and self-belief. Such a student is more likely to drop out of a grade and may ultimately have a series of social problems. According to an independent study on grade retention in high schools, the study ascertained that grade retention was arguably the most powerful predictor of high dropout rates.

Further, before deciding to retain a child at a particular grade, the tutors should be encouraged to help develop the cognitive ability of the learner and to eliminate any weakness therein. Retaining a child at a grade and subjecting the learner to the same types of academic instructions and expecting an immediate change is a dream. The articles are very clear on the high chances that a student who is immature or with low self-concept is more likely to be retained at a particular grade. However, the probable ways of preventing grade retention is not articulately discussed in these articles. The data comparison gives extremely little information on the exact number of students that are to be retained and convincing reasons for such decisions.

Other than a simple grade and age comparison, the teachers should consider different alternatives that are available to retention. For instance, instead of retaining the kid, a decision can be made to conduct a one-to-one tutoring to help in the identification and ultimate improvement of the kid’s academic credentials. The academic progress of such a kid must be monitored closely and accorded any backing necessary to help in eluding making resolutions on grade retention. In the long-term, the academic credentials of retained kids decreases considerably and if not checked frequently drops out of school.

When synthesizing and criticizing an educational study, it is imperative to identify some of the common errors that are associated with the articles in question. The article on grade retention, though relative explicit, several inaccuracies and misconceptions can be identified in the literature. For instance, the article fails to summarize how the quality of individual student studies varies across an array of factors. Most critics will disagree with the assertion of the articles that grade retention practices are appropriate or even yield any tangible results. By grouping the positive and negative effects of grade retention, an expanded frequency between those students retained and promoted will result into many inconsistencies in education standards. Correspondingly, from the tables, the weighted averages that are present have a negative effect on the retained student’s academic performances. Per se, according to most academic intellects, the idea of grade retention is mostly presumed to a widely unsuitable practice in the education systems worldwide.

In essence, the most critical criteria that can be used to judge the quality of a study on educational issues is the nature of the research design that is employed. According to most educational expertise, the application of experimental designs will be crucial given that those student that are low-performers will be assigned randomly to an explicitly demarcated management situation. Therefore, most parents and stakeholders in the education sector are opposing the random assignment of students citing the inherent fear of harming some of the students that may or may not be retained. During comparison, there must be clear strategies on how to assess the academic advancement of the retained kids in the end. The same-age and same-grade comparison is not very effective given that some of the retained or promoted kids have different grasping and intellectual abilities. Retention being a very sensitive topic of discussion in most countries, any decision to execute the same should be based purely on an informed view of the pros and cons of the issue.