Ep. 18 Grade Retention - Yes or No?

dyslexia grade retention iep podcast standardized testing Apr 21, 2023

While retention can happen anytime during your child's school year, it usually happens at the end of the third grade. The reason? Many states have legislation that requires schools to consider retaining a student if they don't pass a third-grade reading assessment. The really frustrating thing about these policies is that one test score doesn't demonstrate your child's overall ability to show their knowledge. It also doesn’t recognize that dyslexia is a lifelong diagnosis, not something fixed within a year.

Research done in the early 2000s found that retaining a student did not benefit them, and in fact, puts them at a higher risk of dropping out of high school down the road, among other effects. In this episode, I delve into whether the current research still holds up to the original findings and unpack the immediate and long-term impacts on students, their families, and their teachers. 

Listen to learn more about the wash-and-repeat experience for a child who is held back, the emotional toll that grade retention takes on everyone involved, and the questions to ask your child’s school if they want to hold them back.


Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or on your favorite podcast platform.


Topics Covered:

  • A breakdown of the single data point 3rd grade retention is based off
  • 7 questions to ask if the school wants to hold your child back
  • ‘Super Seniors’: those who take five or more years to graduate
  • The instances when grade retention can be beneficial
  • Learning if your state makes exceptions for students who can demonstrate an alternative way to show their knowledge



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