Essential Question: How many are retained on average a year and is the rate of retention increasing or decreasing?

A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education in 2006 compared the retention information for the years 1995, 1999, and 2004. The indicator used for the study focused on the total percentage of students ages 16-19 what had ever been retained in their school career and the corresponding effects on high school graduation (p. 62, U.S. Department of Education).
Data shows the rate of student retention decreased from 16% in 1995, down four percentage points to 12% in 1999, and 10% for the 2004 school year. The statistics show, as the rate of retention declined from 1995 to 2004, fewer students dropped out of school (p. 62, U.S. Department of Education).

In the same study, focusing on the years 1995, 1999 and 2004, the population of students retained was categorized by numerous characteristics such as grade level, gender, family income, family type, primary language spoken, region, and race/ethnicity (p. 163, U.S. Department of Education).

The data shows that in 1995, 11% of students were retained at the kindergarten through fifth grade level and 7% at grades six through twelve. This number significantly declined in the 2004 with a level of 5% at kindergarten through fifth grade and 5% at grades six through twelve.

Focusing on the gender characteristic during the three years evaluated, males were shown to be retained more often than females.

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Educational Statistics. (2006). Grade Retention: Indicator 25. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved from[].

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