What Happens in First Grade....
What is especially interesting to note in this study is that school-leaving of these at-risk students mainly begin to occur in the later years of basic education, not in middle school nor in the later grades of elementary school. Unlike promoted students, retained students seem to drop out in a big wave at the beginning of high school or ninth grade. The authors of the study attribute this observation to the much higher academic demands of high school.
This blog already has several posts on this subject:
- Promotion or Retention
- To Retain or Promote: Asking the Right Question
- Surprising Results Regarding Retention
- Does Retention Really Help?
- Settling the Retention vs. Mass Promotion Issue
Since the students who are either promoted or retained have been equated by using propensity scores, the difference one sees in the drop-out rates in this new study can be assigned almost exclusively to whether a student has been retained or promoted in spite of failing marks.
"The well-documented impulsivity and poor decision making demonstrated by many adolescents is attributed, in part, to the protracted maturation of the prefrontal cortex and associated regions of the brain. One form of impulsivity common in adolescents is a tendency to exhibit impatience when given a choice between an immediate small reward versus a larger but delayed reward (Romer, Duckworth, Sznitman, & Park, 2010)."The additional two years in basic education in the Philippines obviously can make it harder for struggling students to make the choice of staying in school. This is one area where the Department of Education in the Philippines has at least addressed the fact that retention should be minimized. However, the correct intervention will always be providing support where this is most needed. So I am going to repeat what I wrote in a previous post on this topic:
DepEd Order No. 73. S. 2012 provides the steps that need to be taken when students fail. It is described in one short paragraph within the 125-page memo: