• Holding students back in middle school poses problems

  • New research shows there are major problems that arise when students are held back in middle school.
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  • New research shows there are major problems that arise when students are held back in middle school. Researchers from Duke University say when a middle-schooler is held back, it has a ripple effect leading to discipline problems in other students. They looked at 80,000 students in middle school, and found that schools with high numbers of repeaters also have higher numbers of other discipline problems among the other children. Some educators have also noticed that retaining a student in middle school is not usually effective in solving that child's problems. Steven Dunham, spokesman for the Jordan School District in Utah, says their goal is to find potential problems long before middle school. "It is very, very rare that we ever retain a child past elementary school," he said. "What we have found is that if we can intervene with a child in the grades of kindergarten through third grade we can help them and bring them up to grade level rather quickly," he said. If the child is failing in one subject, the school will hold an intervention and give the student extra help. If the child is struggling in several subjects, they'll take the more drastic step of remediation. "We'll pull in the teachers that have specialties in those subjects and they'll give us different ways of working with that child," Dunham said. If they ever decide to retain a student in middle school, Dunham said it's a last resort. "If it ever has to go to that final step, we will involve a committee, which will include the parents and an education team that includes teachers, specialists and the administrator or administrators of that school," he said. There are exceptions to this. There have been cases where a refugee moving into the state needed an extra year to catch up with the other kids. But he said that decision isn't made lightly and they always try to do what's best for that student.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D156982%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E
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