Criteria for being held back

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by hilda82, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. hilda82

    hilda82 Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2007

    :confused: It seems like a lot of students are allowed to move up to the next grade even though they haven't passed core subjects such as reading, writting, and math. In many cases those who can't read need the teacher, another student, or an audio cd to read it for them so that they can answer questions and comprehend. Doesn't this seem foolish to anyone? Why aren't children repeating grades so they will be able to function as a student as well as later in life? It seems like the public school system might be only interested in moving kids through. I say this in no disrespect to teachers and the administration, but I am confused and am very limited in knowledge about the matter. Are there really that many children with learning disabilities or are schools in general too quick to label and send the kid on to the next grade with an IEP?
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    hilda82, I kind of know how you feel, even if I am only a student teacher right now. The school in which I am posted just had a pretty major "move up" of students from one grade level to the next. This was done by order of the school board. Students who had already been held back once, and who had been held back again this year were moved up to the grade they originally were to be prevented from achieving because they didn't pass/pass the test/go to school enough days, whatever. The teachers and I see this as nothing more than "social promotion," which supposedly ended years ago. The rational supposedly that, if a kid is held back more than once, s/he is bigger physically than his/her classmates and therefore more likely to be a bully. We are a k-8 school, so I can kind of see the rational, especially in the middle school, but I still don't like it. It is my opinion (and we all know about those -- everyone has one) that this is doing the children moving up (as well as their classmates) no favors. These students were held back for valid reasons, and spent the entire first nine weeks in the grade in which they were held. Therefore, not only are they now behind (skill-wise) their new classmates, they missed the entire first nine weeks of work, and are even further behind than before! We lost one poor boy to the fourth grade, and the child can barely read. We gained another boy from the 2nd grade (held back in 1st and 2nd) who is a pretty good reader, really, but who is struggling mightily in math, language, science and social studies. He just doesn't have the skills, because he never had the opportunity to learn them! Here is a (very likeable, bright) child, who spent the first nine weeks earning all A's, who now cries almost daily because he is having problems understanding! Where is the justice in that? I will only be in the classroom 2 more weeks after Thanksgiving, and thanks to some rabble-rousers in the classroom, I'm afraid he won't get the one-on-one attention he needs. I will be watching this thread with interest.
     
  4. hilda82

    hilda82 Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2007

    Do parents even have a say in the matter?
     
  5. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Nov 17, 2007

    here they do.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Nov 17, 2007

    Holding kids back isn't the only answer.

    Having plans in place to help students who lack basic skills is a must. Most schools do not have the resources for "overage student" classes. There are just too many students who don't qualify for IEPs, (they classify them as "slow learners" and they are not eligible for any special education services.)

    Without overage classes, you end up with 5 or 6 13-year olds in 3rd grade. This certainly isn't the solution either. Do you really want your eight year old daughter in class every day with boys and girls who are teens? Have you ever taught a class where the boys are sexually active teens in 3rd grade, and feel free to discuss it with very innocent 8 year old girls and boys? (I have... it is a horrible situation that happens in many innercity schools that hold students back no matter what.)

    For this reason, many schools only allow students to be held back twice in elementary school.

    Also, the reason for holding a child back is so they can improve. But if they didn't get it the first time around "the way it was taught" why would another year of exactly the same type of instruction help?

    There are huge behavioral problems with students who are repeating the material in a grade level. THey may be struggling readers, but they learned the history and science that was taught. When they repeat, they are bored during history and science, because they've not only done the information, they are probably doing the exact same activities. When students are bored, they start to misbehave even more.

    Even in reading, in schools with structured curriculums, the repeaters must read the exact same stories they read the last year. If you are in a Reading First school, or other school with a scripted curriculum, you do not have the freedom to change the reading selections.

    Just holding students back isn't the answer.:2cents:
     
  7. SchoolRocks

    SchoolRocks Companion

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    Nov 17, 2007

    I teach at a private school and we are constantly moving kids ahead and holding them back. In my situation the kids are being held back because they have trouble in one area- for example reading. Because we are a private school we have no pull-out resource teachers to work with these kids. It is very hard for me to see kids being held back and moving ahead. One boy last year was moved ahead to third grade this year. He is totally different. He almost has removed himself from school. He just sits there watching his friends from second grade play.:( This may level out??? I think holding back is ok only if ALL other options have been exhausted. The key is: What is best for the kid? Two years ago my daughters teachers wanted to move her ahead and I said no way! She is not bored with school and I personally do not want her to miss the "core" things from the grade she would have skipped. :unsure:
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Nov 17, 2007

    We don't hold kids back at all.... but we have mixed age classes, so you can tell that some kids will be a younger, and some an older-- depending on what they need. But it doesn't always work out this way.
    pre-k
    prek-k
    k-1
    1-2
    2-3
    3-4
    4-5
    5-6

    It usually works well... but oddly enough this year I have really strong, competent third graders doing a mix of third and fourth grade work and fourth graders doing 5th (I had them as 3rd doing 4th last year.) I also have 3 fourth graders doing 3rd grade work. I think it ends up working well in the end, as long as you don't have a young student misplaced or an older student misplaced.

    Ideally, a really competent kid would be the youngest all the way though, and sometimes they skip 6th grade and go into 7th in a junior high program. Or sometimes a kid does 6th grade at our school, then does 6th grade in a middle school somewhere else. I have a second grader in my class who is doing 4th grade work now (and it's *almost* too easy.) I think they can leave at the end of 4th and he enter middle school as a 6th grader.

    There is very little stigma at my school regarding the classes, and it's different every year. They move us around a lot, and people never really know if it's a strong or weaker group. Also, we do like everyone to have a chance to be the oldest or youngest at some point, because it's a good learning experience. It also depends on the numbers. I have taught straight 3, 3-4, 2-3, and 3-4.
     
  9. Jarenko

    Jarenko Companion

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    Nov 17, 2007

    I believe children not meeting the requirements of the grade is more a failure on the part of the teacher than the student.
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I would strongly disagree that it is a failure on the part of a teacher. I often get children who are 3 or 4 years behind when they get to me. Even if they get a year's worth of improvement, they are still years behind.

    I didn't make the child the way he/she is. I had nothing to do with the deficits the child experienced during his/her early formative years. I’m not the one who didn’t provide an enriched environment when the child was a preschooler. I’m not the one who didn’t seek out help or accept help when the child started falling behind.

    I’m not the one who didn’t read with the child when he or she was little. I’m not the one who doesn’t bother to help with homework now. I’m not the one who allows the child to watch TV until 11pm, or play X-box all evening.

    I’m not saying that it is the parents fault, I’m saying that there are a huge variety of reasons why children don’t succeed. It may have nothing to do with the teacher.

    Some parents do everything they can to help a child succeed, and the child still falls behind. But there are also the parents who do nothing, and then blame the teacher, the school, the child..anyone but themselves.
     
  11. Jarenko

    Jarenko Companion

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    Nov 17, 2007

    In your case friend, it sounds like a series of failures and not totally your dilemma. Sometimes you can only salvage so much from a sinking ship before you scuttle it. :(
     
  12. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Nov 17, 2007

    Rainstorm I completely agree with you. We live in a society where it is everyone else's fault.
     
  13. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    There are also kids who get read to, have a great pre-school experience, wonderful teachers and supportive families who still are behind. It's life. We do all we can for all the kids.
     
  14. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I refuse to think of a child who needs help as "a sinking ship." I give as much as I am able. There is always hope.
     
  15. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Nov 17, 2007

    :eek: :down:
    This by far is RAREY the case.

    Yes the parents in our district have a say. They actually often override our decision. Beleive me, when that happens, I HEAVILY document that this was their decision and not mine.
     
  16. hilda82

    hilda82 Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2007

    In response to Rainstorm- What a sad topic. The parents of students can really make or break the child. I am only 24, but it seems like there a general moral decline in the US. There are so many broken homes and more people only living for themselves. And the children are always the ones who pay the hardest for it. I personally think that if we as a nation turned back to God we would see broken families healed, children would have a better home life where they could be nurtured. Teacher's would be less stressed and have more to give. Student's would be made to actually go to school by their parents. It wouldn't be a utopia but it would definetly help the education situation in the US (The US being ranked pretty low). So, in short, my answer is God because it's going to take a miracle to help many of the disadvantaged children to win in the education area and ultimatily in life.
     

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