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Re: Held back

Posted By: Mike Koehler on September 10, 2005
I was heartbroken when I was made to repeat the second grade. I don't think the repetition benefited me at all; in fact if anything it had an extremely negative impact on me and damaged my self esteem. This had long term repercussions on me. The experience was devastating to my self esteem, and I would liken it to my parents' divorce or even a death in the family.

I agree totally with the viewpoints of Dr. Bruggeman and wish there were more educators out there like him. This is progressive thinking! Thank you, Dr. Bruggeman for understanding what repetition of a grade does to a child's well being.

I think educators, parents and school administrators who feel children should be held back because they are "socially immature", "summer birthdays", "not ready" or any other ridiculous excuse are extremely misguided. ADHD and other learning disorders are often not recognized or misdiagnosed for the above. Retention should only be a "last resort" option in extreme circumstances, and even then the child should be younger than his/her classmates. Unfortunately, it is used as a "first resort" option especially with the current climate of educational testing being used to determine a child's grade readiness. Research by academics in the field have conclusively shown the practice of retention has not helped in the long run and may in fact diminish a child's chance of graduating.

We need to listen to experienced educators like Dr. Bruggeman, not politicians offering quick solutions to failing schools and students!

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 People who were held back/"failed" a grade who later went on to pursue careers in education by Jill Johnson on February 23, 2002
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