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Study: Holding Kids Back A Grade Doesn’t Necessarily Hold Them Back

NPR – Anya Kamenetz

“Our education system has this funny quirk of grouping kids by birth date — rather than, say, intellectual ability or achievement or interest. But developmental pathways are as individual as kids themselves. And so there’s a perpetual back-and-forth about whether to put certain kids in school a grade behind or ahead of their actual age. Recently we covered the research on “redshirting,” or the practice of starting kindergarten a little late. That researcher concluded that it’s usually better to go ahead and enroll kids as soon as they’re old enough. For one thing, they will earn more money on average over a lifetime with that head start into the workforce. Now comes a big study to say something different: Holding kids back at third grade when they don’t meet the academic standards will give them a boost in achievement, by some measures. And, it doesn’t affect whether they graduate high school either way.”(more)

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