Retention is NOT an Intervention: Strategies for Student Success

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Retention is NOT an Intervention: Strategies for Student Success Slide 2 Is Retention the Solution? Purpose: To increase awareness of the high retention rates of students in grades K-4 in Louisiana Outcome: 75% of students in Louisiana arrive in 4 th grade on time by 2014 Slide 3 Literacy Goals Students enter kindergarten ready to learn Students are literate by the third grade Students will enter fourth grade on time Students perform at or above grade level in English Language Arts by eighth grade Achieve all critical goals, regardless of race or class Slide 4 Measure: Percentage of students earning consecutive promotion from kindergarten through fourth grade Current Status (Fall 2010): 72.3 percent of students arrive in fourth grade on time Ultimate Goal: 90 percent of students arrive in fourth grade on time Immediate Goal: 75 percent of students arrive in fourth grade on time by 2014 Students Will Enter Fourth Grade On Time Slide 5 Promotion Similar to calculating the Graduation Rate Look at a cohort of kindergarten students Same students entered K at the same time How many of the K students made it to 4 th grade on time? Slide 6 Goal: Kindergarteners arrive in 4 th on-time Measure: Student promotion Ultimate Goal 90% arrive on-time Immediate Goal 75% arrive on-time by 2014 Slide 7 12,763 Students did not make it to 4 th grade on time in 2010-2011 Of those: 5,068 retained in Kindergarten 4,612 retained in First Grade 1,950 retained in Second Grade 1,133 retain in Third Grade Slide 8 Retention in Louisiana In Louisiana, 12,763 or 28% of students fail to make it to 4 th grade on age-grade level based on 2010 data We retain students despite overwhelming research and practical evidence that retention fails to lead to improved student outcomes Slide 9 Louisianas Retention Challenge These students are not subject to state-mandated retention requirements High-stakes LEAP testing begins at end of 4 th grade Pupil Progression before LEAP governed solely by local district policy (BESE Bulletin 1566, 503 ) Slide 10 Reasons For Retention Academic Failure Lack of Basic Skills Excessive Absences Emotional Immaturity Parental Request Slide 11 Louisianas Retention Challenge In Louisiana, approximately 1 of every 3 public school students (28%) is retained prior to 4 th grade Nationally, about 10% of public school students (and 23% of students in poverty) are retained at ANY grade level Slide 12 Louisianas Over Age Student Challenge A Louisiana student who enters HS graduates from HS On age-grade level (14 years old) 84% of the time Retained once (15 years old) 66% of the time Retained twice (16 years old) 25% of the time Retained more than twice (17+) 6% of the time 1 in 3 students enter 4 th grade over age in Louisiana 1 in 3 students enter HS over age in Louisiana 1 in 3 students fail to earn a HS diploma in Louisiana Slide 13 The Downstream Challenge School YearK-4 On Time Promotion Rate HS Graduation Rate 2009-201067.3%67.4% 2008-200968.3%66.6% 2007-200868.4%65.9% National studies have consistently identified grade retention as a leading indicator of HS dropout rates. Louisiana data demonstrates the same strong correlation (see above chart). We can accurately predict the graduation outcomes of 80% of the states freshman based ONLY on their age & previous school attendance. Grade retention increases a students risk of dropping out between 20% and 50%. Slide 14 Louisiana K-4 On-Time Promotion Rates and Cohort Graduation Rate Slide 15 We cannot solve the dropout crisis without addressing the retention problem! Slide 16 The Bottom Line retention, whether it is called by a special name (transition), occurs for a special reason (immaturity), or takes place in kindergarten rather than later, is still retention and still ineffective. (quoted from Shepherd, 1989) Those who continue to retain pupils at grade levels do so despite cumulative evidence showing the potential for negative effects consistently outweighs positive outcomes.(quoted from Holmes & Matthews, 1984) Slide 17 What Can We Do? Policy Options Limit the number of times an elementary student can be retained; allow retention only on the basis of academic performance/attendance Require multiple documented interventions prior to permitting retention Require teachers/SBLCs to develop individual intervention plans for all retained students and those at risk of retention Monitor retention rates by school and grade level, and intervene based on data Slide 18 What Can We Do? Other Options Embed information about research on retention into school-level professional development and information for parents Provide principals & teachers with guides for early interventions for students at-risk to prevent retention Slide 19 Alternatives to Retention Response to Intervention (RTI) ( Early Intervention Extended Instructional Time Effective programs that frequently assess student progress and adapt instructional strategies based on results of these assessments Slide 20 Alternatives to Retention Reading and math programs that provide developmentally appropriate, intensive, and direct instruction strategies to promote the reading and math skills of students at risk of being retained School-based mental health programs thatpromote the social and emotional adjustment of children. For example, addressing behavior problems has been found to be effective in facilitating academic performance (Zins, Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004) Slide 21 Solutions to Consider from Principals Ensure early success in K and 1 with targeted early intervention Collaboration with Head Start Programs and Daycare Centers Transitional classes with students completing one and a half grades in one year Literacy and Numeracy Instruction most of the school day with science, social studies, health, etc. embedded Specific training for PreK and K interventions (Ex. Speech and Language Pathologist Pilot) Slide 22 Solutions to Consider from Principals More side by side coaching Prior to school classes in the summer for students being considered for retention (use data such as DIBELS for determination) After school interventions for students that require strategic and intensive support Parent seminars to support student learning Much, much more! Slide 23 National Association of School Psychologists NASP recommends promotion plus specific interventions designed to address the factors that place students at risk for school failure Full list available at Slide 24 Jumpstart Summer Camp Use data to select those students who are candidates for retention Select your BEST reading/math teacher possibly a coach or interventionist 8 to 10 students per teacher Have parents sign assurances for attendance to miss no more than 1 day if child is to be promoted Bring selected students in for a 4 week Jumpstart Summer Camp just prior to school starting Slide 25 Jumpstart Summer Camp Target the reading and math skills that are areas of weakness for the individual students for direct systematic teaching Provide extensive time on task for reading partner reading, paired reading, reading to other adults, books/tapes Depending on age of the students, have them read two or more books for pleasure on their independent reading level at home each night use a reading log for the parent to sign this involves parent and child Continuously progress monitor and adapt instruction to achieve student success and prevent retention Slide 26 How Do I Fund? MUST Braid Funds Title I, IDEA, REAP, ELL, Homeless, SIG, local funds, etc. Major Costs Teacher and Transportation Major Payoff Fewer Retentions and more High School Graduates Slide 27 Retention How many students did you hold back in K, 1, 2, and 3? What are your district/school numbers? Retention.aspx?RecordID=000 What is the most common reason for retention in your school or district? What can be done to prevent retention? Slide 28 Success has a price tag on it, and the tag reads Courage, Determination, Discipline, Risk Taking, Perseverance, and Consistency---doing the right things for the right reasons and not just when we feel like it. - James Meston, Author Slide 29 Kerry Laster, Ph.D. Chief of Literacy Literacy Goal Office Louisiana Department of Education Email: Phone: 225-342-3647