American Institutes for Research

Working Paper 100

Hold Back to Move Forward? Early Grade Retention and Student Misbehavior

Working Paper 100
Author(s): Umut Özek 

Test-based accountability has become the new norm in public education over the last decade. In many states and school districts nationwide, student performance in standardized tests plays an important role in high-stakes decisions such as grade retention. This study examines the effects of grade retention on student misbehavior in Florida, which requires students with reading skills below grade level to be retained in the 3rd grade. The regression discontinuity estimates suggest that grade retention increases the likelihood of disciplinary incidents and suspensions in the years that follow. The findings also suggest that these adverse effects are concentrated among economically disadvantaged students.

Published: April 2013 | Download: pdf icon new Full Text 

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