New study: New methods in administering public school hold back policies
A new study, which will be published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, revealed that the risk of lower academic performance does not rise after a student is held back by the school system.
With academic performance being highly correlated with academic ability in today’s society, little attention has been paid to research that looks at how pre-adolescent academic achievement might be impacted by school system practices.
The new study, “Classroom decisions regarding a delayed introduction of delayed admission to public school: Experimental evidence from data from national longitudinal data,” included 2,355 students from 5- and 8-year-olds in grades one through four.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 80 percent of high school graduates are considered college-ready. However, only a handful of recent education studies has looked at pre-adolescent educational outcomes, leading some experts to view the delay in adoption of school systems practices as potentially affecting a child’s academic achievement.
The study, by Natalia T. Fichtner and Warren L. Hagen, addresses the question of whether holding back school-aged children may hold them back, a point that has become a point of contention in the political sphere. According to the study, school delay policies are likely to not have the desired effect on student achievement.
Instead, the study shows that when the economy recovers after the financial crises, as it did in the mid-2000s, children who were held back were also found to be more likely to have been already caught up in the subsequent school system.
Despite the findings, the current school system practices on classroom waiting can have a positive effect on student outcomes. In the pre-adolescent system, the average class size is 1.81 compared to 5.78 in public kindergarten. What’s more, a student aged between six and eight is more likely to be practicing reading aloud with a trusted adult.
In 2010, Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which authorized spending of $50 billion on education. That was, in part, to promote school and classroom change that would improve students’ learning outcomes. In recent years, schools have set out to improve post-secondary programs through such programs as the College to Career initiative. Such changes can, in part, better prepare students to make the transition to the workforce and could, in turn, improve their earnings potential.