More evidence that grade retention is a stupid idea

Monty Neill just sent around this Ed Week article summary:

Countries in which schools frequently hold back or kick out students with low academic performance tend to have weaker, more expensive, and more socially inequitable education systems overall according to an analysis by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. [See http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/35/58/48363440.pdf - the link on the EW page was to wrong study - mn]

In comparing the results of the Program for International Student Assessment in 65 countries, OECD researchers found that differences among countries grade-retention trends could explain up to 15 percent of the variance among average scores on the 2009 PISA. The United States reported an average of more than one in 10 students repeating a grade, higher than the OECD average, while top-performing Finland and South Korea do not allow grade retention. Fewer than 3 percent of students in 13 countries reported ever repeating a grade, while more than 25 percent of students repeated at least one in France, Spain, and 13 other countries.

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Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.