Saturday, November 14, 2009

Redshirting Students - Holding Students Back

How often should we hold back students in schools?

I come to ask this question because in my classes, I have come to find out that many of my students are in 504 accommodations because some of them are in their right grade and have a hard time reading. On the other hand, others are in 504 because they keep failing the same grade over and over again. However, the thing is that these students just haven’t failed the grade once, but two times and could possibly fail the same grade a third time. In the State of Louisiana, no student can be held back no more than 3 times. Well I have personal experience with those students who are held back and only have one more year to be held back until they must be pushed on to finish school or drop out to get a GED. Now, what am I thinking? I want to discuss my feelings on the idea of holding back students.

There is a part of me that believes as an educational system, we should be holding back students who are not performing at the adequate levels. These students need more time in a specific grade or area of study. I believe that students need to learn and must learn effective, and if that means that they need to be held back so they can get more time to grasp a better understanding of that information, then I most definitely think students should be held back a grade if not a semester.

On the other hand, I believe that students shouldn’t be held back because what they possibly missed in one grade they can get in the next even though it is a review or something in a less intensive form, it is still covered and the students still gets another chance at obtaining the information. I also think that students shouldn’t be held back because too many years where the student is being held back could have a negative effect on the child and they could possibly never excel after the first or second time of being held back. This could have a lasting effect on children to the point where they could be unproductive, and mischievous. If society won’t take these kids and change them for the worst, the school definitely could.

I think the best way for us to solve this problem is to change many elementary schools into non-graded schools. I believe this way, the child has 2-3 years in a particular area to grasp and understand the concept. This way, the child doesn’t feel as though they are being held back. The child doesn’t have to worry about grade levels and being with his friends because they don’t move as a class but as individuals. Also, I believe that in non-graded elementary schools, children can have more time to be challenged and learn with a variety of people at an early age. Ultimately, the child is not negatively affected in any way, and the child has more room to make progress and put in more effort to learn than he/or she would if they were in traditional graded classes.

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