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Education Working Paper
No. 7  December 2004


An Evaluation of Florida’s Program
to End Social Promotion

References

  • Alexander, Karl L., Doris R. Entwisle, and Susan L. Dauber, “On the Success of Failure: A Reassessment of the Effects of Retention in the Primary School Grades, Second Edition” Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • Greene, Jay P., Marcus A. Winters, and Greg Forster, “Testing High Stakes Tests: Can We Believe the Results of Accountability Tests?” Teachers College Record, June 2004, Vol. 106, Num. 6, pp 1124–1145.
  • Harrison, Steve, “’Unusual’ Test Scores Raise Questions: A Herald analysis finds that big gains on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test recorded at several schools in Broward and Miami-Dade counties are statistically improbable” Miami Herald, February 8, 2004.
  • Holmes, C. Thomas, “Grade Level Retention Effects: A Meta-Analysis of ResearchStudies” in Eds. Lorrie A. Shepard and Mary Lee Smith “Flunking Grades: Research and Policies on Retention” The Falmer Press, 1989.
  • Nagoaka, Jenny and Melissa Roderick, “Ending Social Promotion: The Effects of Retention” Consortium on Chicago School Research, March 2004.
  • Reynolds, Arthur J., “Grade Retention and School Adjustment: An Explanatory Analysis” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Summer 1992, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp 101–121.

 


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WHAT THE PRESS SAID:

Retained students excel on FCAT retake Tallahassee Democrat, FL
Students to face tighter standards
The News-Press, FL, 1-20-05
Board wants to end social promotion
St. Petersburg Times, 1-19-05
Florida: A State's Approach, New York Times, 1-16-05
Failing students getting promoted
Cleveland Plain Dealer, 12-20-04
Paige Issues Statement on Report on Social Promotion Ed.gov, 12-8-04
Yanking Schools Back From Oz by Jay P. Greene & Marcus A. Winters, New York Post, 12-8-04
Put to the test, unearned passes don't help kids by Jay P. Greene & Marcus A. Winters, Chicago Sun-Times, 12-8-04
California should end social promotion
by Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters, San Diego Union Tribune, 12-9-04
Guest Column: Ending social promotion works by Jay P. Greene & Marcus A. Winters, Vero Beach Press-Journal, 12-8-04
Analysis: Ending social promotions helpful Washington Times, 12-10-04
Fla.'s tough third-grade policy a hit New York Daily News, 12-8-04
Report: Holding Back Students Helps NY Sun, 12-8-04
Retention may help students, study says Sun-Sentinel.com, 12-8-04

SUMMARY:
This study evaluates a program that ends social promotion by linking promotion to standardized test results. In particular, it examines the initial effects of Florida’s policy requiring students to reach a minimum threshold on the state's reading exam to be promoted to the 4th grade. The study compares the year-to-year progress of the first group of students subject to the mandate, as well as the progress of similarly low-performing 3rd graders from the year earlier, before the mandatory retention policy was in place. It finds that students who were retained outperformed their counterparts who were socially promoted by the equivalent of about 4 percentile points in reading and 10 in math.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ABOUT EDUCATION WORKING PAPERS

INTRODUCTION

PREVIOUS RESEARCH

FLORIDA’S PROGRAM TO END SOCIAL PROMOTION

METHOD

RESULTS

DISCUSSION

ENDNOTES

REFERENCES

Table 1: Gains Made by Students Translated into Standard Deviation Units

Table 2: Gains Made by Students Translated into Percentile Scores

Table 3: Effect of Being Subject to Retention Policy on FCAT Reading Test

Table 4: Effect of Being Subject to Retention Policy on Stanford-9 Reading Test

Table 5: Effect of Being Subject to Retention Policy on FCAT Math Test

Table 6: Effect of Being Subject to Retention Policy on Stanford-9 Math Test

Table 7: Effect of Retention on FCAT Reading Test

Table 8: Effect of Retention on Stanford-9 Reading Test

Table 9: Effect of Retention on FCAT Math Test

Table 10: Effect of Retention on Stanford-9 Math Test

 


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