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(Capital Journal)   Proposed South Dakota bill would fail kids with reading problems. Bill is flunked by a clinical psychologist. Fark: Subby is the psychologist, who found out about the bill on Fark   (capjournal.com) divider line 71
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3737 clicks; posted to Politics » on 27 Jan 2014 at 9:11 AM (23 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-27 09:34:48 AM
6 votes:
While holding them back at 2nd grade may be a tad too extreme, I do think that there needs to be some gatekeeping in terms of skills between elementary and junior high, junior high and high school, and so on.  Yes, kids bring different skill sets to the table; but if you have a 5th grader that can't even read at 2nd grade level, that's something that needs to be addressed no matter how gifted the kid is.
2014-01-27 09:34:46 AM
6 votes:

the_foo: Yeah, that wasn't a terribly convincing counter-argument. Maybe you're right, but it also reads a bit like "we can't enforce educational standards because it could hurt our little snowflake's feelings."


We kind of did that in the previous thread. In short, the research says that grade retention isn't a better policy than social promotion.

Here are some pdfs (that you can't link directly from Fark):

https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/pdfs/pubpres/FlawedStrategy_Par t One.pdf

https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/pdfs/pubpres/FlawedStrategy_Par t Two.pdf

https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/pdfs/pubpres/FlawedStrategy_Par tThree.pdf

http://www.nasponline.org/communications/spawareness/Grade%20Retenti on .pdf

That's not to say that social promotion is an awesome policy. It's just that grade retention isn't a fix for kids who can't read. Kids who are held back tend to do worse later on than socially promoted kids and it raises risk factors in lots of behavior like dropping out.

The real answer if a kid can't read is that there needs to be intervention to help them catch up. Making them repeat the same process that didn't help them in the first place isn't a solution. But you've tapped into the problem with education right now which is that it is a complicated subject but laws that look like they are "getting tough" on education make people feel like politicians are doing something.
2014-01-27 09:29:43 AM
6 votes:

the_foo: Yeah, that wasn't a terribly convincing counter-argument. Maybe you're right, but it also reads a bit like "we can't enforce educational standards because it could hurt our little snowflake's feelings."


Agreed.  Also, when a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.  They need a wake-up call to change how they're working with their child on his or her reading habits.  Maybe the kid is a slow developer but that's all the more reason to stay back for one year.

Maybe there's an argument to be made that second grade is not the appropriate time to make this stand, but a stand does need to be made.  Too many kids get promoted for the reason subby argues for and they end up in high school unable to read at an age-appropriate level.
2014-01-27 09:17:54 AM
6 votes:
Yeah, that wasn't a terribly convincing counter-argument. Maybe you're right, but it also reads a bit like "we can't enforce educational standards because it could hurt our little snowflake's feelings."
2014-01-27 10:34:57 AM
5 votes:
First of all: enough with the snowflake comments. As a school counselor, I can tell you first-hand the difficulties involved in holding a child back. To hold a child back at such a young age is a major indicator of several things, including but not limited to academic development, social and cognitive development, and the health of the child. All of these are indicators that help us figure out whether or not a child should be held back, but I can assure you that if they are poor readers in second grade, they're probably struggling in other areas. I say PROBABLY because we have systems in place to make sure children who are not proficient in a specific subject receive the interventions necessary to get them back on track.

Once we've exhausted our intervention resources, and ONLY then, do we discuss holding a child back, and it has numerous consequences- inadequate socializing with peers, lowered self-esteem, lowered motivation to participate, and generally an increase in behavior issues. The reason these usually follow one another is because their academic problems are generally analogs for their lives as a whole, but that doesn't mean that the parents will be able to affect change any more after you told them to be better parents than before. And even then, it's rarely as simple and cut-and-dry as "try harder" or "spend more time with your kid".

Being held back is a really big deal, and every time someone uses the term "snowflake", it's dismissive towards a pretty in-depth and well-documented issue that affects some kids life for a long time. I don't agree that holding a second-grader accountable is either reasonable or practical, and I don't believe that putting pressure on the child alone will solve anything if you don't involve parental and educational resources, including mental health services.

What if that were YOUR kid? Would you still mince around talking about Snowflakes having their feelings hurt?
2014-01-27 10:40:54 AM
4 votes:

mgshamster: Good job subby!

I would have liked to have seen a better argument; one with evidence backing the statements.


Google "social promotion vs retention" and you'll get dozens of far more detailed discussions.  But you can all of them up with one quote:

"There's no reason to think that retention is good.  But the alternative--moving a child ahead when he's ill-prepared--that's not good either. ... You don't want kids just limping along through the system."

As for the focus on reading skills that subby seems to disagree with, there's virtually zero learning to be done in the third grade if you can't read.  If you can't read, you can't do science.  You can't do social studies.  Contrary to subby's assertion, you probably can't even do regular level third grade math.  So subby's suggestion is essentially to go ahead and promote them so that they can socialize with kids their own age, and maybe fully participate in art class.  Meanwhile, the entire class is slowed down so that the teacher can try to deal with the couple of kids who can't read, at a grade level where almost every topic involves reading.

Some kids aren't ready to learn to read when the school system is ready to teach them to read.  You are left with two basic options, neither of which is good.  You can hold them back in the grade level where reading is taught until they are ready to learn to read, or you can promote them and ask teachers who don't normally teach reading (and who have a class full of other students who can already read) to remediate their reading skills.

Neither solution is good.  But one causes a setback for one student.  While the other causes a set back for an entire class of students.  The better choice of those two options from the standpoint of the educational system should be obvious.

Note that saying "put more resources into teaching them to read" is not a solution.  If the child isn't ready to read by second grade, it's unlikely that any additional resources will fix that.  Not to mention the fact that keeping them in second grade for another year does exactly that.  It keeps them in a grade where there are resources for learning to read, with other students who are learning to read. It also allows them to learn reading with other students who are still learning to read, rather than having to be pulled out of a third grade class for an hour a day and sent to special ed teacher to work with them.

All of the studies that purport to show the harmful effects of retention suffer from terrible cases of "correlation is not causation" syndrome.  Yes, children who are retained tend to drop our and tend to have other behavioral problems.  No shiat.  Students who are retained are at the bottoms of their classes.  Obviously they are going to fail and have other educational problems as a higher rate.  The question should be: Do students that are retained do any worse on those metrics than students who are similarly situated who are socially promoted?  There don't seem to be any good controlled studies that show a significant difference either way.
2014-01-27 10:39:20 AM
4 votes:

Muta: odinsposse: The real answer if a kid can't read is that there needs to be intervention to help them catch up.

I always wonder why there is such a push to hold children back.  Wouldn't required summer school focusing on the curriculum areas where the child is weak be a more productive use of resources?


You can pretty much read the comments in this thread to see why. America is very punishment-focused in it's education policy. Acknowledging any complexity means you're coddling the little snowflakes and they just need to toughen up. Politicians know this and so education policies revolve around sounding like they are getting tough on those lazy educators and students. Because there is only one problem in all of education and it is laziness.
2014-01-27 11:37:57 AM
3 votes:
"grades" should go away.  Replace them with 'skill levels'.  You don't move on to the next 'level' until you've proven you an master the one you're at.  We have a really stupid notion in this country that all kids advance in all subjects at the same rate.  They don't.
2014-01-27 10:45:02 AM
3 votes:
Speaking as someone who was held back in grade school (and it was the best thing for me) I don't feel comfortable leaving that decision to politicians and law makers as part of a law. Being held back should be a carefully considered exception, not a set in stone rule.

Kudos subby.
2014-01-27 10:04:10 AM
3 votes:
Subby.
Not much of an argument.  "It would be bad"  Is that all you have?  What is your alternative?  There are hundreds of studies showing that large percentages of high school graduates do not read above a 6th grade level.  At what point do you say 'enough is enough'?  You sound like you are a charter member of the "participation award" group
2014-01-27 09:49:39 AM
3 votes:

the_foo: Yeah, that wasn't a terribly convincing counter-argument. Maybe you're right, but it also reads a bit like "we can't enforce educational standards because it could hurt our little snowflake's feelings."


Not quite. The social skills and emotional skills that develop during that age, as a result of the relationships we form with our parents, teachers, and classmates, are incredibly important later in life. It's less about the child's feelings, per se, and more about keeping them on a trajectory that allows them to better hone the skills that let them understand the people in their life. The technical term I'm referring to is "theory of mind" which refers the ability of us to attribute mental states - whether cognitive (e.g., beliefs, desires) or affective (e.g., emotions) - to other people based on the information we have about them, including prior experience with that person and perceiving and interpreting the social cues they display during the interaction. These "soft" skills are actually in incredibly high demand these days in a lot of occupations because of the greater reliance on team collaboration, whether intradepartmental, interdepartmental, or interinstitutional. And in contrast to reading, or math, or other useful skills later in life, these "soft" skills are not explicitly taught in school. The takeaway I got from the article was that it's a bad idea because it does not appear to weigh the costs and benefits appropriately, taking into account the other aspects of neuro-cognitive development that would be affected by being held back. Especially given that supplemental instruction would probably go a long way towards fixing reading deficiencies better than holding primary school children back.

/not subby
//cognitive scientist studying social cognition
///personal interest in neuropsychology, though
2014-01-27 02:20:17 PM
2 votes:
First, good job Subby,

Second, being a psychologist on fark must be like being a mechanic in a junkyard, everywhere you look there is work to be done.

Third, I fully understand, I was terrible at reading when I was young, but excellent at math. I didn't actually progress in reading until late high school and probably didn't get to my current level of reading comprehension until I was 22. I think I would have been very discouraged if I would of been held back.
2014-01-27 01:38:54 PM
2 votes:

draypresct: Despite your blanket statement of different standards in your field, the experiment of randomizing kids to different educational strategies is already being done. Every time you have a lottery for a magnet school, it's a randomization of kids into the more desirable/less desirable schools. Some interesting literature has been published based on these experiments. Are you planning on writing these journals and school districts and informing them that they're violating ethical considerations from your field?


Schools are not laboratories. The policies by which schools are run can be based off of studies in the developmental, cognitive, and social sciences - whether observational studies in ecologically valid settings such as schools or experiments conducted in laboratory settings - but those policies are not in and of themselves research agenda. That researchers can observe situations like the magnet school stuff, or VPK, or what happens when funding cuts occur in this region but not that region, etc. does not equate to a proper experiment designed to investigate a particular topic or set of topics.

draypresct: Your issues of the inability to blind the treatments or experimentation on childrend who cannot provide consent have, and continue to be dealt with in the medical literature. I urge you to check out this NIH page on the subject of inclusion of children. Most grants now require specific and compelling reasons to exclude children (and women), simply because the benefits of evidence-based medicine should not be limited to treatments that are commonly used on adult men.


Those issues are not relevant for figuring out what happens when school policies change. Now we're not even talking about the difference between medical science and non-medical science, we're talking about the difference between scientific investigation and public policy decisions. That's not even the same sport, much less the same ballpark.

draypresct: Your description of a study of feral children is a strawman. Abandoning children to the wild is not an accepted method of raising children; promotion v. retention are two strategies being used on children today.


The analogy was to illustrate that there are ethical implications with conducting an experiment on X topic that you are simply not considering. That you decided to read too much into it does not take away from the fact that such an experiment would be deemed unethical by any and every institutional review board in the United States, and likely every other first-world country.

draypresct: If you've never done a randomized study, if you have problems even identifying the comparison group for the studies that have been performed, then this is a treatment of 'uncertain value'. Again, why not* randomize children to the two treatments? That way, you'll know the answer.

/*The real answer, I suspect, is that randomized intervention trials cost money, while observational studies of existing policies just cost grad student time.


Talk about a strawman. My first-hand experience with experimental design is not the issue (but, being a published scientist in neuroscience, cognitive science, and social science, I do want to politely tell you to f*ck off for even thinking it appropriate to attack my position in such a manner). And, hell, between the two of us, you're the one who has trouble identifying the comparison groups in the studies that have been performed because by your own admission you didn't even read the source material that has been linked in this thread, nor have you read the studies that those policy briefs (read: not studies, but summaries) were abstracted from. Your suspicions as to why those experiments are not being carried out do not even rise to the level of simply being wrong. School policies are not scientific experiments to be conducted. They are policies put in place, primarily by politicians  and not scientists, from which interested researchers can subsequently examine and analyze. You are imposing a perspective on the discussion which is not appropriate for the content being discussed. That is your own failure, and not the burden of the research you are criticizing.
2014-01-27 12:53:39 PM
2 votes:

Aidan: Separate schools would be interesting, but there are the dangers of a) stigma and b) enforced restriction to one school or another, ignoring any changes in test results. Really, the geographical separation of the groups is my concern there.


Well, we're discussing a dream world where we have bypassed the derp and decided to enact things that would actually improve education.  I think if we can imagine a world where we build schools to help kids who need additional/more support, then imagining students can move between schools based on academic improvement isn't a far stretch.

Yes, there will be stigma but keeping students who are behind in a class causes bigger issues.  It either holds the rest of the class back, or it leaves the one student further and further behind (or a little of both).  Plus, even if you leave the kid in the "normal" school any intervention will come along with stigma.  It's not like the other students won't/don't know.  All of the kids in the "intervention" school will all be getting intervention, so on a daily basis, there should be significantly less pressure/stigma.  I'd imagine that climate will be even better to learn in.

Aidan: However, I still think tracking (whatever it's called when students pursue different tracks in the same school) is not a horrible idea. Decouple it from age, and that would reduce the stigma involved. Maybe. I dunno. :)


That wouldn't help stigma.  You would have classes where 4th graders who don't read as well are in classes with kids years younger with them.  That's a lotta embarrassment right there.  One way private schools deal with this is to do both.  All kids of a specific age are in "second grade."  But there are multiple different math levels for instance within second grade for each kid to go to depending on their ability.  The problem with doing it this way is it costs a farking fortune.  In a normal sized school with say 75 kids, rather than 3 classes max size 25 you might teach 1 advanced class with 10 kids, 1 remedial class with 10 kids and 2-3 classes for the rest.  That's more 1 more class that needs to get taught.  Apply it for all grades and subjects and you're talking about a lot more teachers and physical space (need more rooms to do it).
2014-01-27 12:40:01 PM
2 votes:
Only marginally on the topic but....

Petitioned to have my oldest start first grade one year ahead of when she should because she was smart.  Not just smart but spooky smart.  Grumbling by the principal, but we were successful.  In third grade, we moved her to a "talented and gifted" program where she excelled - mixed classes with multiple grade levels.  When it came time for her to move to middle school (Jr. High) we held her back a year - same classroom, same teacher and many of the same students because of the mixed grade classroom.  We did it because we felt she wasn't mature enough to successfully deal with the social trials and tribulations of middle school.  It worked.  Since then she's graduated University with a degree in physics and is currently working on her PhD.

/100% on SAT
//100% on GRE
//Spooky smart....
I think she gets it from her mom.
2014-01-27 12:27:32 PM
2 votes:
After reading more about this bill it appears everyone here can settle down. One legislator from Eagle Butte proposed this bill with very little support (another legislator wanted to include 3rd grade). It's fairly amusing that someone from Eagle Butte would propose this because it wouldn't even apply to his schools (Reservation covered under Bureau of Indian Education).
It's never going to become law and not being seriously considered. They didn't even propose any specific assessment tool for determining who would be held back. Move along folks, nothing to see...
2014-01-27 12:13:55 PM
2 votes:

odinsposse: the_foo: Yeah, that wasn't a terribly convincing counter-argument. Maybe you're right, but it also reads a bit like "we can't enforce educational standards because it could hurt our little snowflake's feelings."

We kind of did that in the previous thread. In short, the research says that grade retention isn't a better policy than social promotion.

Here are some pdfs (that you can't link directly from Fark):

https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/pdfs/pubpres/FlawedStrategy_Par t One.pdf

https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/pdfs/pubpres/FlawedStrategy_Par t Two.pdf

https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/pdfs/pubpres/FlawedStrategy_Par tThree.pdf

http://www.nasponline.org/communications/spawareness/Grade%20Retenti on .pdf

That's not to say that social promotion is an awesome policy. It's just that grade retention isn't a fix for kids who can't read. Kids who are held back tend to do worse later on than socially promoted kids and it raises risk factors in lots of behavior like dropping out.

The real answer if a kid can't read is that there needs to be intervention to help them catch up. Making them repeat the same process that didn't help them in the first place isn't a solution. But you've tapped into the problem with education right now which is that it is a complicated subject but laws that look like they are "getting tough" on education make people feel like politicians are doing something.


See that makes a lot of sense.  Focused intervention as a solution to poor performance.  It engages the actual problem, rather than saying "it'll sort itself out next year".  The biggest problem that philosophy faces political, in that it runs afoul of two fundamental republican positions.

1.  They believe in punishing people for "being bad".  This position permeates almost every republican position, and holding children back is among the ways to "punish".
2.  It costs money.  Money disproportionally going towards poorer students.

I'm glad you got one legislature to see sense, though.
2014-01-27 11:25:25 AM
2 votes:

The My Little Pony Killer: CaptainToast: What if that were YOUR kid?

My kid wouldn't be illiterate in the first place.


Hehe. Excellent answer, however it doesn't protect you from these issues. I've had many conversations with parents who are deeply involved in their child's academics about retention. You never know what is really going on with that student until you collect enough information to discuss retention. ADHD, dyslexia, behavior issues and many other things contribute to these things.

Granted, your kids stand a greater chance of success if you're involved in their lives but don't equate retention to something that only affects poors.
2014-01-27 11:19:17 AM
2 votes:

CaptainToast: What if that were YOUR kid?


My kid wouldn't be illiterate in the first place.
2014-01-27 11:18:46 AM
2 votes:
Contrariwise, subby is a Californicator, so the people of South Dakotastan are likely to ignore the input.

Nohow, seems good that Fark is able to draw a little expert attention into politics.
2014-01-27 10:36:37 AM
2 votes:

coeyagi: grumpfuff: t3knomanser: Well, subby- dish. Your letter piqued my interest, and I want a more fleshed out argument. My instincts agree with you, but I want evidence and argument.

This, though I can also understand if subby doesn't want her name associated with her Fark handle.

Concur here.  But if I were a SD legilslator who thrives on the rage of Potato-Americans in their constituency, I wouldn't want something like Science to dissuade my opinion that "daffy bastards have no place in society, despite the fact that many of my constituents are alcoholic illiterates who might have had a better chance of succeeding in life if we had just focused more in investing in education rather than unique and supposedly profitable means to kill brown people in order to get their oil."


Wow. You took a story about a bill that was an effort to improve education and help students who are falling behind and somehow managed to turn it into a spittle-flecked rant against the population of an entire state. A rant that misses the mark by a wide margin, I might add. Good jorb!

If you want to argue the merits of whether or not retention in 2nd grade is proper policy, then argue it. You could probably ask 10 different experts on the subject when the appropriate time to start retaining children is, and you would probably get 10 different answers. It's not a cut-and-dried subject. I see people on Fark constantly bemoaning the fact that schools just push students through with no regard to their academic achievement, resulting in HS graduates than can barely read. This is an attempt, misguided or not, to help to rectify that, and you somehow equate that to alcoholism, illiteracy and the desire to murder brown people. I think that says a LOT more about you than it does about the people of SD. It's too bad that your irrational bigotry has blinded you to the point that you cannot even string together a coherent sentence, much less intelligently discuss the topic at hand.
2014-01-27 10:32:16 AM
2 votes:

odinsposse: The real answer if a kid can't read is that there needs to be intervention to help them catch up.


I always wonder why there is such a push to hold children back.  Wouldn't required summer school focusing on the curriculum areas where the child is weak be a more productive use of resources?
2014-01-27 10:31:38 AM
2 votes:

Danger Mouse: A student who cannot read at the appropriate level will more than likely  struggle in just about all thier classes and should not  progress to the next grade. It's not fair to the student, nor the other children in the next grade.

It's not as if this its magicaly discovered at the last day of the school year that little johny can't read.  Throught the year the student is assessed and if the student needs extra help, tutoring, or what ever, great, but if by the end of the year the student hasn't mastered reading well enoough to pass the minimal level he shouldn't be moved forward.


How much of third grade is self-paced based on reading? As I remember 3rd grade, most instructions are verbally given by the teacher. There isn't a reading-heavy curriculum on 3rd grade, so there would be time to catch up if the correct intervention tools are in place. And, if the correct intervention tools are not in place, repeating the 2nd grade will not help.
2014-01-27 10:10:46 AM
2 votes:
A student who cannot read at the appropriate level will more than likely  struggle in just about all thier classes and should not  progress to the next grade. It's not fair to the student, nor the other children in the next grade.

It's not as if this its magicaly discovered at the last day of the school year that little johny can't read.  Throught the year the student is assessed and if the student needs extra help, tutoring, or what ever, great, but if by the end of the year the student hasn't mastered reading well enoough to pass the minimal level he shouldn't be moved forward.
2014-01-27 10:02:59 AM
2 votes:

odinsposse: the_foo: Yeah, that wasn't a terribly convincing counter-argument. Maybe you're right, but it also reads a bit like "we can't enforce educational standards because it could hurt our little snowflake's feelings."

We kind of did that in the previous thread. In short, the research says that grade retention isn't a better policy than social promotion.

Here are some pdfs (that you can't link directly from Fark):

https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/pdfs/pubpres/FlawedStrategy_Par t One.pdf

https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/pdfs/pubpres/FlawedStrategy_Par t Two.pdf

https://childandfamilypolicy.duke.edu/pdfs/pubpres/FlawedStrategy_Par tThree.pdf

http://www.nasponline.org/communications/spawareness/Grade%20Retenti on .pdf

That's not to say that social promotion is an awesome policy. It's just that grade retention isn't a fix for kids who can't read. Kids who are held back tend to do worse later on than socially promoted kids and it raises risk factors in lots of behavior like dropping out.

The real answer if a kid can't read is that there needs to be intervention to help them catch up. Making them repeat the same process that didn't help them in the first place isn't a solution. But you've tapped into the problem with education right now which is that it is a complicated subject but laws that look like they are "getting tough" on education make people feel like politicians are doing something.


An interesting read, but they never clearly identify the comparison group. In medical literature, this is usually considered a sign of poor research.

Examples:

"The majority of research fails to find compelling evidence that retention improves long-term student achievement."
Compared to what? Unlimited promotion? Separate classroom tracks? Home-schooling? Allowing students to take different classes in different grade levels*?

It is estimated that nationally 5% to 9% of students are retained every year, translating into over 2.4 million children annually. With an average per pupil expenditure of over $7,500 a year, this common practice of retention costs taxpayers over 18 billion dollars every year.
Compared to what? Is the argument that without this policy, we would pay nothing for these students? Or are they seriously making the argument that education is a sunk cost, not an investment that pays off later?


/*Our local school district does this. If a kid is advanced in math but not yet ready to advance in other subjects, they take math with a different grade, and the teachers bend over backwards to adjust schedules to help make this possible.  I love our public schools.
2014-01-27 10:00:57 AM
2 votes:

Big_Fat_Liar: Shouldn't this be in Geek?  Or is the risk someone will use this as a springboard for arguing for, or against, transgendered restrooms just too great?


Funny story here, my town had an issue about transgendered students using the bathroom of the gender they identify with.  Despite the best efforts of the American Taliban (read:Christians from out of town) they let their initial policy stand of letting them do just that.  And you know what?  The world didn't end.
2014-01-27 10:00:06 AM
2 votes:
I'll be the first to admit I'm old(ish).  But what ever happened to summer school?  Instead of holding a kid back over one (sometimes two, but usually one) subject, they took 4 weeks of summer school to try to catch up.

Is this not allowed anymore?
2014-01-27 09:57:24 AM
2 votes:
It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to hold back students an entire grade because of one subject. It seems like students should be able to re-take a class (or get the remedial help they need) while staying with the rest of their class the rest of the time. They would still need to catch up in order to get a diploma.
2014-01-27 09:34:51 AM
2 votes:

grumpfuff: t3knomanser: Well, subby- dish. Your letter piqued my interest, and I want a more fleshed out argument. My instincts agree with you, but I want evidence and argument.

This, though I can also understand if subby doesn't want her name associated with her Fark handle.


Concur here.  But if I were a SD legilslator who thrives on the rage of Potato-Americans in their constituency, I wouldn't want something like Science to dissuade my opinion that "daffy bastards have no place in society, despite the fact that many of my constituents are alcoholic illiterates who might have had a better chance of succeeding in life if we had just focused more in investing in education rather than unique and supposedly profitable means to kill brown people in order to get their oil."
2014-01-27 09:25:44 AM
2 votes:

t3knomanser: Well, subby- dish. Your letter piqued my interest, and I want a more fleshed out argument. My instincts agree with you, but I want evidence and argument.


This, though I can also understand if subby doesn't want her name associated with her Fark handle.
2014-01-27 09:14:35 AM
2 votes:
Well, subby- dish. Your letter piqued my interest, and I want a more fleshed out argument. My instincts agree with you, but I want evidence and argument.
2014-01-27 09:13:58 AM
2 votes:
Well done, Subby!
2014-01-28 04:53:11 AM
1 votes:
Oh, great idea subby. If a kid can't learn to read by second grade, then instead of holding them back where they can receive second-grade level reading education until they do learn, we'll instead boot them foreword into a grade they are completely unprepared for, so they can become more and more lost and left behind on reading skills.

Because hey, learning art is just as valuable in society as being farking literate.
2014-01-27 08:23:36 PM
1 votes:
Subby,

I agree, 2nd grade is a bit premature to make that determination...but at what time should they have to know how to read and write at age level?  Middle-school?  High school?
2014-01-27 03:58:43 PM
1 votes:

Aidan: No worries. I didn't disbelieve, I just needed time to recompute. :) Here in Michigan, there is no actual state-wide gifted program.


I know. Michigan has an utterly basic definition, no mandate for identification, no mandate for programs, and no money required to be set aside for any such programs as well as lack of professional development requirements for teachers who manage services and programs for gifted and general lack of training for educational prepractitioners. Did a dual study for an undergraduate thesis in which I did analysis of definitions and policies across states. One advantage with lack of any department involvement is when a school gets behind gifted programs then such programs are allowed to be agile to research and resources whereas I am heavily constrained by identification criteria and funding which follows.
2014-01-27 03:18:37 PM
1 votes:

Aidan: Vangor: Being my entire background is gifted education, in particular program development,

*perks up*

Ooh! Where?! In... Florida...?

*brain strips a gear*


I understand the reaction. I am asked time and time again by family, friends, colleagues, and contacts why I remain in Florida, in particular my county, when I complain about our policies, support, facilities, etc.. Simple answer is the sheer enormity of the task means anywhere else would be easy by compare. Also, we have an extremely strong and capable if small gifted education field here. Thus, two significant reasons Florida is a good starting grounds for reforms.
2014-01-27 02:57:06 PM
1 votes:
I was socially retained for third grade, even though I was way, way ahead of my "peers" academically.

I will never ever forgive my parents and the school system for doing that.
2014-01-27 02:01:48 PM
1 votes:
odinsposse:

That's not to say that social promotion is an awesome policy. It's just that grade retention isn't a fix for kids who can't read. Kids who are held back tend to do worse later on than socially promoted kids and it raises risk factors in lots of behavior like dropping out.

The real answer if a kid can't read is that there needs to be intervention to help them catch up. Making them repeat the same process that didn't help them in the first place isn't a solution. But you've tapped into the problem with education right now which is that it is a complicated subject but laws that look like they are "getting tough" on education make people feel like politicians are doing something.


Agreed.  My anecdotal experience is that being held back was damn near like tattooing "Guaranteed No Future" to a kids forehead back when I was in K-6.  The ones I remember never recovered.

Most of the kids that moved ahead in spite of poor grades, turned out ok.

2.bp.blogspot.com
2014-01-27 01:53:29 PM
1 votes:

Aidan: I am in the trenches on this one right now. Son's getting super-duper intervention, and last year I asked the teachers to hold him back (in grade 2, when he was getting even MORE intervention with no results), and they were all "omg no". I do understand their reasoning - which is exactly what you said.

So far, I can say that intervention does help. But there's also an upper limit. At some point, the kid is basically one-on-one with a teacher (not my kid, thank the twisted gods that watch over him). At some point, there's something so not-working in the kid's head that no amount of extra work, help, or fish oil pills is going to make them get better. I really don't know what to do when that happens, and I'm only pathetically grateful that my child is NOW progressing. Not up to grade, and not quickly, but measurably.

Conclusion: Big uncomfortable topic for everyone. I do agree that intervention is so far our best tool for these kids. Holding back or passing without help are not.


Here is my CSB:

My youngest was not exactly a steller student in grade school (k-5). She had reading issues at first and always struggled with math. We worked on her reading all the time and by 5th grade she was reading like a champ. Now in 8th grade is had read LotR  once and The Hobbit twice. We enrolled her in Kumon for a year to help with her math.

She has had straight A's for 2 years.
2014-01-27 01:13:46 PM
1 votes:

A Cave Geek: "grades" should go away.  Replace them with 'skill levels'.  You don't move on to the next 'level' until you've proven you an master the one you're at.  We have a really stupid notion in this country that all kids advance in all subjects at the same rate.  They don't.


Part of the benefit of yearly courses include the value gained by repetition. Proving you "master" the one you're at is just a much more naked and direct version of 'teaching to the test', wherein the pupil is not required to retain any knowledge at all.

As we move further into a plugged in, Connected age with the knowledge of history at our fingertips, some of this makes sense, but certain skills such as math and reading still need to be not only "mastered" but be, to a fair point, so highly ingrained that they are instinctive.

/ I'm with the ones disagreeing with subby, for reasons already eloquently given by other farkers
2014-01-27 12:54:32 PM
1 votes:

Dog Man: I was "gifted" in school and took gifted classes. It was a pain in the ass because of the poor way the school implemented the program...

Thinking about it now, it's probably a factor in my being a bit socially awkward.


Being my entire background is gifted education, in particular program development, I would place emphasis on these two statements. Acceleration, enrichment clusters, and other services which get cognitive peers together have positive academic, cognitive, social, and emotional outcomes with proper implementation; without, students feel bounced around and out of place.

 

A Cave Geek: "grades" should go away.  Replace them with 'skill levels'.  You don't move on to the next 'level' until you've proven you an master the one you're at.  We have a really stupid notion in this country that all kids advance in all subjects at the same rate.  They don't.


We have two major problems to this in the general public school system. For many people, "grades" and "mastery" are synonymous, but of course grades are static almost without exception and thus show a snapshot rather than building of skills and knowledge. But this problem of perception and how scoring in academics work is small, especially compared to our semester or half-semester or year long structure for an extensive subject or entire grade level. The idea a student needs to repeat each major concept presented over nine weeks in geometry until mastered is a massive waste of time and resources for all involved, and our system has no support built in to isolate which foundations are lacking or concepts are a struggle. Consider the worse situation where a student has to repeat a year of mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts because reading skill is insufficient.

What has to happen is a significant rework of the mastery system as opposed to grading, yes, but our education system has to allow for dynamism between classes which should be far smaller subjects which show clear connection between mastery of this before entrance to that.
2014-01-27 12:36:26 PM
1 votes:

draypresct: HeathenHealer: After reading more about this bill it appears everyone here can settle down. One legislator from Eagle Butte proposed this bill with very little support (another legislator wanted to include 3rd grade). It's fairly amusing that someone from Eagle Butte would propose this because it wouldn't even apply to his schools (Reservation covered under Bureau of Indian Education).
It's never going to become law and not being seriously considered. They didn't even propose any specific assessment tool for determining who would be held back. Move along folks, nothing to see...

What kind of academic are you, cutting off an interesting discussion just because it doesn't apply to the real world. :)


Sorry! It's an interesting discussion (whether or not to hold kids back) but I was genuinely shocked to see this because I live in South Dakota and had not heard about this bill. I guess that's because no one around here is taking it seriously. I'm glad the rest of the country is busy looking out for us simpletons in South Dakota!!
2014-01-27 12:35:52 PM
1 votes:

CaptainToast: Why would it be considered unethical to take children meeting suitability criteria for two separate educational strategies and flip a coin to determine which one they get? How is this less ethical than a lottery system to determine which school a child goes to? The lottery is also chance-based, also determines the educational strategies used, and also determines their peer group. There has been some interesting work done using these lotteries to determine the effects of magnet schools on educational attainment.

You'd have significant issues with this experiment, even at the internal ethics panel level.

First and foremost, you're dealing with a minor whose safety and wellbeing have been entrusted to a school system. Any decision that is made has to be made with the best interest of ALL children involved, not just the lucky ones. So on that alone you'd have a difficult time running this experiment.

Second, because they're minors we can't expect them to agree to this with any reasonable understanding as to what they've agreed to. Even if you got the parents to sign consent forms, what you're doing wouldn't pass muster for an ethics panel simply because of the possible consequences to their child- nobody wants to be caught holding that bag of crap when it falls apart.


There was a time when that was the common attitude towards randomized control trials and children. Today, the medical and legislative community tends to believe that evidence-based medicine has value. Withholding evidence-based medicine from women and children by excluding them from trials is less acceptable now.

When preparing an NIH grant, you need to provide specific and compelling reasons to exclude women and/or children from a study. Parental/guardian consent is, of course, required for the children. Many of these studies involve much, much more serious interventions than simply holding a child back a year.
2014-01-27 12:33:53 PM
1 votes:

Aidan: So far, I can say that intervention does help. But there's also an upper limit. At some point, the kid is basically one-on-one with a teacher (not my kid, thank the twisted gods that watch over him). At some point, there's something so not-working in the kid's head that no amount of extra work, help, or fish oil pills is going to make them get better. I really don't know what to do when that happens, and I'm only pathetically grateful that my child is NOW progressing. Not up to grade, and not quickly, but measurably.


There are cases like that where kids can't improve but I don't believe they occur very often.  I have volunteered at a grade school working one-on-one with dyslexic kids in the past and you can see spectacular results.  Problem is it takes one-on-one work.  Before (and after I left) me, the teacher just didn't have the time to spend one-on-one because of all the other students.

Honestly with kids that require this much attention, I think the best thing to do would be to pull them out of the public schools where the rest of the kids go and build a lot more schools that specialize in these types of students.  Of course that would require a shiat ton of funding so it's never gonna happen.
2014-01-27 12:28:05 PM
1 votes:

odinsposse: Studies examining student adjustment and achievement through high school and beyond report assorted negative outcomes associated with grade retention. When comparing retained students with similarly under-achieving but promoted peers, research indicates that retained students have lower levels of academic adjustment in 11th grade and are more likely to drop out of high school by age 19 (Jimerson, 1999)

Which more specifically addresses the issue.


Thank you. I have to admit that I burned out looking for any discussion of the comparison group before I got to the third document.

odinsposse: Like I said, they are finding a way to map it either to an expected progression (there are studies out there showing how to figure out the expected and average progression of students although they probably aren't specifically cited in those articles.) The snippet I quoted above shows them studying students who all perform low with some being retained and other being promoted and the retained students doing worse.


I wouldn't want to compare the progression of an under-performing student under educational strategy X to the "average" student progression; I would want to compare it to the progression of a similarly under-performing student (preferably randomly selected) under a different strategy. "No strategy" (students roam the streets?) isn't really a viable option here.

odinsposse: Not really. They're specifically talking about the practice of grade retention and not education generally. If a student doesn't benefit from grade retention then the costs to implement that program are, in fact, a waste.


This is a different question. I had assumed that this low bar had already been cleared - if grade retention in a given school was no better than letting students roam the streets, I would have some very pointed questions about that school system.
2014-01-27 12:19:01 PM
1 votes:

super_grass: meat0918: "Hispanic" to be a genetic defect

wut


My reaction exactly.

In short, I hate dealing with racists, but it's a facet of my otherwise fantastic job I have to deal with.

I get to work with some rather simple individuals. These are people of the land. The common clay of America. You know... morons.
2014-01-27 12:10:53 PM
1 votes:

meat0918: "Hispanic" to be a genetic defect


wut
2014-01-27 12:08:48 PM
1 votes:

super_grass: meat0918: super_grass: meat0918: AdmirableSnackbar: when a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

when a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

When a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

Barring issues like ESL, I don't think anything else needs to be said here.

What if the kid is born with some genetic learning disab-

Wait, never mind.

I'll make a list next time it comes up, so it will say ESL or a learning disability, but while ESL is an impediment to learning in an English only school, it's not a disability, and your response could be construed to conflate ESL with learning disabilities.

I was mocking the parents for passing on bad genes...


Oh, carry on.

I'm the jackass here for being a little keyed up on dog whistles.

I've had to recently deal with some people that consider "Hispanic" to be a genetic defect, so I'm might be a tad oversensitive.
2014-01-27 12:00:48 PM
1 votes:

super_grass: meat0918: AdmirableSnackbar: when a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

when a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

When a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

Barring issues like ESL, I don't think anything else needs to be said here.

What if the kid is born with some genetic learning disab-

Wait, never mind.


I'll make a list next time it comes up, so it will say ESL or a learning disability, but while ESL is an impediment to learning in an English only school, it's not a disability, and your response could be construed to conflate ESL with learning disabilities.
2014-01-27 11:58:00 AM
1 votes:

Big_Fat_Liar: coeyagi: So you're an illiterate. Consider entering a program. Or keep arguing and showing your illiteracy, either way, I could care less.

That was funny, but you spelled "you're" wrong.


No he didn't dumbass.  He spelled "you're" completely correct.

/facepalms
2014-01-27 11:55:23 AM
1 votes:

meat0918: AdmirableSnackbar: when a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

when a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

When a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

Barring issues like ESL, I don't think anything else needs to be said here.


What if the kid is born with some genetic learning disab-

Wait, never mind.
2014-01-27 11:46:31 AM
1 votes:

AdmirableSnackbar: when a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.


when a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

When a second grader can't read well that's not the child's fault, it's the parents' fault.

Barring issues like ESL, I don't think anything else needs to be said here.
2014-01-27 11:37:27 AM
1 votes:

Satan's Bunny Slippers: I'll be the first to admit I'm old(ish).  But what ever happened to summer school?  Instead of holding a kid back over one (sometimes two, but usually one) subject, they took 4 weeks of summer school to try to catch up.

Is this not allowed anymore?


Summer school still exists. It doesn't help all kids. I'd imagine that the schools the bill is trying to address have substandard curriculum in the first place.
2014-01-27 11:34:46 AM
1 votes:
They're gonna have to hold back half the school kids in this wasteland. South Duhkota is currently 50th in education nationally.

Yes, 50th. The one person with critical thinking skills realized last month that attracting decent teachers might be slightly difficult when you pay them peanuts and that raising the pay scale might help. What did the dipshiats in Pierre do? Swept the bill under the rug and pretend it didn't happen.

This place sucks. In every way. Save the few good micro-brewers in the state. They're OK.
2014-01-27 11:21:45 AM
1 votes:
Ahhh Public Schools.  The Obamacare of Education.
2014-01-27 11:14:01 AM
1 votes:
Holding students back due to reading difficulties alone will rob them of other important learning experiences

But what about every other child in those situations? Their learning is being held up by classes having to slow down to zero in order for the illiterates to catch up.

Don't hold them back; collect them and place them in classrooms where they won't have to slow others down with that pesky reading bit.
2014-01-27 11:12:09 AM
1 votes:

draypresct: Kome: Talondel: All of the studies that purport to show the harmful effects of retention suffer from terrible cases of "correlation is not causation" syndrome.

For a number of reasons, that's a very pithy and ill-informed summary of entire fields of research. For starters, it would be wholly unethical to conduct a randomized experiment where we say "regardless of their performance, we'll hold these students back and promote those students just to examine in a more rigorous way the effects of being held back." Secondarily, causation can be established because the temporal dimension is very much accounted for in these observational studies, though it can be difficult to disentangle the variable of interest with confounding variables (i.e., holding the kid back versus extracurricular variables such as home life). Therefore, a cause-effect relationship can be established, though it is not a simple or straightforward claim that requires taking into consideration a lot of other contextual factors.

It is not unethical to withhold a treatment of uncertain value. Control group patients have been given surgery (holes drilled in their heads, but withholding the vital element of the surgery) before.

Why would it be considered unethical to take children meeting suitability criteria for two separate educational strategies and flip a coin to determine which one they get? How is this less ethical than a lottery system to determine which school a child goes to? The lottery is also chance-based, also determines the educational strategies used, and also determines their peer group. There has been some interesting work done using these lotteries to determine the effects of magnet schools on educational attainment.


You'd have significant issues with this experiment, even at the internal ethics panel level.

First and foremost, you're dealing with a minor whose safety and wellbeing have been entrusted to a school system. Any decision that is made has to be made with the best interest of ALL children involved, not just the lucky ones. So on that alone you'd have a difficult time running this experiment.

Second, because they're minors we can't expect them to agree to this with any reasonable understanding as to what they've agreed to. Even if you got the parents to sign consent forms, what you're doing wouldn't pass muster for an ethics panel simply because of the possible consequences to their child- nobody wants to be caught holding that bag of crap when it falls apart.
2014-01-27 11:10:04 AM
1 votes:
another issue I haven seen adressed is that the child will repeat the entire grade, the entire curiculum. He doesn't just redo reading, but it's another year of 2nd grade social studies, math, science.  So while the child is getting the work to improve reading, he's probbaly bored out of  his skull redoing a class he's already taken.

Or typically if a child is failing reading comprehension,  perhaps they haven't done well in other classes and maybe a complete redo of the entire  2nd grade is the best thing?
2014-01-27 11:05:16 AM
1 votes:

odinsposse: The real answer if a kid can't read is that there needs to be intervention to help them catch up. Making them repeat the same process that didn't help them in the first place isn't a solution. But you've tapped into the problem with education right now which is that it is a complicated subject but laws that look like they are "getting tough" on education make people feel like politicians are doing something.


Yep.  I taught elementary school for four years.  There are so many different aspects of a child's upbringing that goes into learning how to read that it would be unfair to fail them or make them repeat a grade based on their reading level.  I saw students who arrived at the school for PreK having never seen a book.  Other students rarely interacted with their parents at home, much less hear people read to them.  Essentially, so long as parents expect schools to do their jobs, well, then the school will have to change its policies.

I worked in a rural school and took on all of the low readers in third grade (only two classes that year).  It was more than half of the group--around 19 or 20 students.  A large number of these kids were at prePrimer level (usually associated with upper Kindergarten). We had Title I instructors working with them, and I worked with them in small groups.  One by one, the kids worked hard to go to "the other room," where the on-level and above-level kids were having their own classes.  We got all but four up to level or above, and of those four, only two failed the reading SOL.  It's not a matter of age or maturity, but a matter of resource expenditure and motivation.
2014-01-27 11:01:02 AM
1 votes:
I think the biggest problem with attempting to legislate retention and test-for-advancement ideas is that it silences the very subtle and very human aspect of this discussion and decision. What you're looking at is a child whose teacher has noted their poor reading skills, which then usually gets passed along to either a reading specialist, a guidance counselor, or someone skilled in intervening with low-performing kids. From there, either the specialist or the counselor puts together a plan to help the student raise their scores through intensive studies, usually alongside the specialist trained to help in this situation.

Keep in mind that the entire time this is happening, both the administrators and the educators are keeping notes on the student's progress and are generally aware of how the child is doing. If the child does not improve or show signs of continued development, then we have an ARD (address-review-discuss) meeting to talk about our options in these cases. Once we have that meeting (often times the parent is involved), the options discussed are planned out and agreed upon by both the staff and the parents.

Only once we've had these meetings, discussed appropriate courses of intervention, and attempted them to our best abilities do we discuss retention. Several studies from states like Florida show an increase in scores from students who have been retained, and the children generally don't get retained in another grade, so there can be positives involved in retention. I've seen a number of cases where the student's maturity level simply wasn't lining up with that of their equally-aged peers and retaining them was the safest and most reasonable solution available to us and it worked out perfectly. However, it only worked out perfectly because of the administrators and educators involved in the process collected the data, did the best they could with that student, and made sense of very subtle, very detailed information.
2014-01-27 10:56:05 AM
1 votes:

Kome: Those are from policy briefs, and not research articles. The purpose of a brief is to summarize the overall findings, not detail every aspect of the research methodologies from the references they used to develop the brief. The notes section does contain several references of where they got their information from.


Even in the executive summary (or the abstract, if it's a research paper), you should identify what group you're comparing the treatment group to. Otherwise, the reader is left guessing. I put a few guesses in my post, and odinspossethought it was one I hadn't even considered (one that would have entirely different implications): Compared to the student's current performance.

Policymakers have to keep in mind "compared to what". It's an essential question when it comes to policy. This is not a good policy brief.
2014-01-27 10:49:37 AM
1 votes:
I was "gifted" in school and took gifted classes. It was a pain in the ass because of the poor way the school implemented the program. For grades 2-3, gifted classes were on Tues and Friday, for 4-5, the classes were on Mon and Thurs. The classes were alright but it threw me off from being with my regular classmates. They also had me taking English and Math classes with kids 1 grade older than me. It made it hard to maintain friendships outside of the gifted kids because I didn't see my classmates regularly and I did get resentment from older kids for being younger. Eventually, I had to get them to just l let me go to regular math and english, which I would ignore and just sit in class reading books, because I was tired of shuffling around. Middle school was much easier because everybody has different schedules.

Thinking about it now, it's probably a factor in my being a bit socially awkward.

/csb
2014-01-27 10:49:14 AM
1 votes:

CaptainToast: First of all: enough with the snowflake comments. As a school counselor, I can tell you first-hand the difficulties involved in holding a child back. To hold a child back at such a young age is a major indicator of several things, including but not limited to academic development, social and cognitive development, and the health of the child. All of these are indicators that help us figure out whether or not a child should be held back, but I can assure you that if they are poor readers in second grade, they're probably struggling in other areas. I say PROBABLY because we have systems in place to make sure children who are not proficient in a specific subject receive the interventions necessary to get them back on track.

Once we've exhausted our intervention resources, and ONLY then, do we discuss holding a child back, and it has numerous consequences- inadequate socializing with peers, lowered self-esteem, lowered motivation to participate, and generally an increase in behavior issues. The reason these usually follow one another is because their academic problems are generally analogs for their lives as a whole, but that doesn't mean that the parents will be able to affect change any more after you told them to be better parents than before. And even then, it's rarely as simple and cut-and-dry as "try harder" or "spend more time with your kid".

Being held back is a really big deal, and every time someone uses the term "snowflake", it's dismissive towards a pretty in-depth and well-documented issue that affects some kids life for a long time. I don't agree that holding a second-grader accountable is either reasonable or practical, and I don't believe that putting pressure on the child alone will solve anything if you don't involve parental and educational resources, including mental health services.

What if that were YOUR kid? Would you still mince around talking about Snowflakes having their feelings hurt?


there are a lot of very insightful, well thought-out posts in this thread to include the above.
/ looking at you too  odinsposse
//thanks
2014-01-27 10:45:22 AM
1 votes:

odinsposse: You can pretty much read the comments in this thread to see why. America is very punishment-focused in it's education policy. Acknowledging any complexity means you're coddling the little snowflakes and they just need to toughen up. Politicians know this and so education policies revolve around sounding like they are getting tough on those lazy educators and students. Because there is only one problem in all of education and it is laziness.


That is why I like the idea of requiring summer school.  It does present the impression that they're getting tough.  "No summer vacation for you 'Little Miss 9 Year Old' your getting extra, personalized instruction on how to read!"  See, it is easy to frame it as punishment.
2014-01-27 10:45:08 AM
1 votes:

mod3072: coeyagi: grumpfuff: t3knomanser: Well, subby- dish. Your letter piqued my interest, and I want a more fleshed out argument. My instincts agree with you, but I want evidence and argument.

This, though I can also understand if subby doesn't want her name associated with her Fark handle.

Concur here.  But if I were a SD legilslator who thrives on the rage of Potato-Americans in their constituency, I wouldn't want something like Science to dissuade my opinion that "daffy bastards have no place in society, despite the fact that many of my constituents are alcoholic illiterates who might have had a better chance of succeeding in life if we had just focused more in investing in education rather than unique and supposedly profitable means to kill brown people in order to get their oil."

Wow. You took a story about a bill that was an effort to improve education and help students who are falling behind and somehow managed to turn it into a spittle-flecked rant against the population of an entire state. A rant that misses the mark by a wide margin, I might add. Good jorb!

If you want to argue the merits of whether or not retention in 2nd grade is proper policy, then argue it. You could probably ask 10 different experts on the subject when the appropriate time to start retaining children is, and you would probably get 10 different answers. It's not a cut-and-dried subject. I see people on Fark constantly bemoaning the fact that schools just push students through with no regard to their academic achievement, resulting in HS graduates than can barely read. This is an attempt, misguided or not, to help to rectify that, and you somehow equate that to alcoholism, illiteracy and the desire to murder brown people. I think that says a LOT more about you than it does about the people of SD. It's too bad that your irrational bigotry has blinded you to the point that you cannot even string together a coherent sentence, much less intelligently discuss the topic at hand.


Thank you for proving my point about illiteracy.  Many =/= all.
2014-01-27 10:21:11 AM
1 votes:
Sure sounds like the special snowflakes can't be told they aren't the greatest things in the world.
2014-01-27 10:19:53 AM
1 votes:
Then I propose as a follow up plan once they graduate and are not qualified to do their job they should be promoted on a regular basis so their feelings don't get hurt.
2014-01-27 10:19:23 AM
1 votes:

draypresct: In medical literature, this is usually considered a sign of poor research.


In any research, that's a bad sign. However, the examples you provide aren't really exemplifying poor research.

draypresct: Examples:

"The majority of research fails to find compelling evidence that retention improves long-term student achievement."
Compared to what? Unlimited promotion? Separate classroom tracks? Home-schooling? Allowing students to take different classes in different grade levels*?

It is estimated that nationally 5% to 9% of students are retained every year, translating into over 2.4 million children annually. With an average per pupil expenditure of over $7,500 a year, this common practice of retention costs taxpayers over 18 billion dollars every year.
Compared to what? Is the argument that without this policy, we would pay nothing for these students? Or are they seriously making the argument that education is a sunk cost, not an investment that pays off later?


Those are from policy briefs, and not research articles. The purpose of a brief is to summarize the overall findings, not detail every aspect of the research methodologies from the references they used to develop the brief. The notes section does contain several references of where they got their information from.
2014-01-27 10:02:32 AM
1 votes:
Most of us will agree that baring a serious learning disability most kids should have the ability to meet the early learning standards.   I also think most of us will place the blame squarly on the parrent for not working with their child.  So baring a disability if your yut fails in school you lose your child tax credit.

/proud parrent of 2 amazingly briliant yet agonizingly dumb kids.
2014-01-27 09:51:38 AM
1 votes:
Good job subby!

I would have liked to have seen a better argument; one with evidence backing the statements.

Right now it reads like everyone involved already knows all the correct facts. But, as we know, Republicans often make up their own facts in order to believe whatever they want to believe.

Regardless, thanks for making the public stand against it.
2014-01-27 09:42:46 AM
1 votes:
The letter gets to an important point - it's sort of silly to still have a system where you go through 5-6 years together with 25 other kids, even though all of you have different strengths and weaknesses. It's an antiquated model based on preparing students for an industrial age that we have long since moved passed. Like any industrial product, it's designed to produce students within certain tolerances, despite what the kids are capable of.
 
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