In an op-ed titled "Why rush to hold kids back?" published by The Detroit News on October 29th, Brian Jacob and Michael Lombardo applaud a new state legislature bill proposing Michigan’s first comprehensive reading program.
“One provision in the bill, however, stands out as misaligned with mainstream approaches to early reading,” they state, describing a provision that will hold back third graders who don’t score high enough on state-standardized tests.
They go on to explain that, “numerous studies have shown that academic gains from retention quickly fade and that kids who are held back are more likely to drop out of school.” They also list the extensive economic costs and controversial nature of retention as reasons to oppose the provision.
Brian Jacob is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy and co-director of the Ford School's Education Policy Initiative (EPI).