Published Online: November 10, 2009
Published in Print: November 11, 2009, as 9th Grade Bulge

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9th Grade Bulge

"Still a Freshman: Examining the Prevalence and Characteristics of Ninth-Grade Retention Across Six States"

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Over the 2004-05 school year, more than 90,000 students from six states repeated 9th grade, according to a new report that is aimed at getting a statistical handle on what researchers call the “9th grade bulge.”

Studies show that retentions tend to spike in 9th grade, which is considered a critical transition year for high school students. For their study, researchers from the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore tracked the number of first-time 9th graders repeating that grade in six states with common student-tracking measures: Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Nearly three in 10 students repeated ninth grade in South Carolina; two in 10 in North Carolina and slightly more than 10 percent in New York, Indiana and Virginia, according to the study.

Vol. 29, Issue 11, Page 5

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