Vent ALERT!!

"What do you mean we aren't retaining any kids this year?"

Befuddled, confused, annoyed, furious - these are all the emotions that erupted as I was told that we can't retain any kids...  REALLY?!?  Even the one who doesn't take any notes because he can "do it in his head" yet gets them wrong, doesn't check/correct his work, doesn't do 90% of the homework, doesn't answer questions correctly in class, doesn't stay on task for small group instruction. REALLY?!?  Get's 25% (regularly) on independent work, which is the same as if the student was to guess.  Can't spell his way out of a paper bag...REALLY?!?

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this kid!  But this one really needs to stay in 4th grade!  He passed 3rd by the skin of his teeth... Oh, he will just flounder in 5th grade :(

When asked who was not going to pass the alternative test which students are taking tomorrow, I said the student's name (which should not be a surprise since this cherub has been on "the list" since last year...).  The response I got was, "Well we can't retain any kids anymore."

"WHAT?!?  What kind of BS is THAT?!?  Since when and says who?"

Long and short of it, the new Super says we can't because research shows that students who are retained are more likely to drop out.

Well, duh!  So now we just pass everybody along??

Oh!  And it doesn't end there... the state would have to pay for another year of public education for this retainee... REALLY?!?  THAT's where this world is headed??

Is it just me?  Am I the last to hear of this astonishing news??  Is it even true??  Or is this some sort of joke?


  1. My principal pulled that statistic out today in a discussion about retention (but we are still retaining students). Apparently the chances of a student finishing high school decreases by 20% if they are retained and then to 50% if they are retained a second time. Some students NEED it. I've got 3 this year. I can't believe the reason for not retaining a student has come down to $$$$$$$$$$$

    Sickening. You are not alone in this vent :(

    Fun in Room 4B

  2. My retort was, "Well, then you can make up your own RTI data, 'cause I'm not doin' it!" So THERE! lol

  3. I had 9th graders in my 7th grade classes because Utah wouldn't hold students back. Moving them ahead unready does not help. Saying hello from A Teacher's Treasure.

    ~April @

  4. I learned that in our school district a child can only be retained twice between PK and 12th grade that is for the next 2 years, then it is only 1. So if I child has been held back before he can never be held back again. He can still graduate. My oldest LOVES this as he can now not do things in class and it makes no difference. He will just go onto the next grade. No consequences whatsoever. To me this is wrong for so many reasons! 1 - What is a high school diploma worth if everyone gets one? 2 - What is the point of the doing any work in class? of behaving? of completing homework? .... Why does only a test score matter! Sigh... I will stop joining the vent.

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  5. Hi April!

    And Misty, I hear you! I was thinking the SAME thing! What's the value in education? And just so you know, these kids pass regardless of their test score. Go figure! So why doesn't the state stop wasting their money on the tests? Not to mention the trees they'd spare...

    I feel like this generation is handed EV-ER-Y-THING! Oh, you get a trophy for being the worst player on the team *nodding head side-to-side). When I was little (and I'm all of 34) we got a ribbon. Only the GOOD players got trophies.

    So, here, you get a diploma for doing jack squat! Enabling, that's what it comes down to....

    And these are the kids who will be taking care of me when I'm old and in a home. GRRRR-8!


  6. I have never been able to retain anyone. Grrr it makes me so mad!

    Oh and I had finally decided, I don't care I'm retaining this kid. Turns out, I can't because he is English as a Second language. Even though he has lived in America his WHOLE LIFE!

    Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

  7. Amber, those are the BEST kids to retain! I have an ESOL retention in my class this year. Her parents supported the retention. Last year she didn't know a word of english and now she gets As and Bs. It's amazing! Now she can write and is certainly ready for 5th grade.

  8. My question is this...why doesn't anyone listen to the classroom teacher anymore? We couldn't possibly know what we are talking about, right?

    Do you ever get asked to join your RTI meetings? We don't anymore. Just fill out the paperwork and hand in...then a group of (not classroom teachers) makes the decision about what to do.


    Fun in Room 4B

  9. Welcome to Indiana. :( I've heard the data too and I get that it doesn't work for all students. Unfortunately, students have also figured this out and aren't worried about failing either. Why do the work?

    Christi ツ
    Ms. Fultz’s Corner

  10. This is our biggest issue in our school. The powers that be do not believe in retention. Because of this, I have students in the 4th grade reading on a 1st grade-end of 2nd grade level at the end of the year. This should not be.... With the higher stakes in Texas, I do not have time to teach them the basics of reading for which they should have been retained in the earlier grades... UGH!!!! Why is it that educational research can be taken and skewed to fit one side - there is also research out there about retention working - why is education research often so one sided?????? Drives me nuts!


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