Published Online: August 9, 2011
Published in Print: August 10, 2011, as Grade Retention

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Grade Retention

"PISA In Focus"

Countries in which schools frequently hold back or kick out students with low academic performance tend to have weaker, more expensive, and more socially inequitable education systems overall according to an analysisRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In comparing the results of the Program for International Student Assessment in 65 countries, OECD researchers found that differences among countries grade-retention trends could explain up to 15 percent of the variance among average scores on the 2009 PISA. The United States reported an average of more than one in 10 students repeating a grade, higher than the OECD average, while top-performing Finland and South Korea do not allow grade retention. Fewer than 3 percent of students in 13 countries reported ever repeating a grade, while more than 25 percent of students repeated at least one in France, Spain, and 13 other countries.

Vol. 30, Issue 37, Page 4

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