NDPC Policy Statement on Student Grade Retention

The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) advocates the implementation of alternative strategies based on the principle of continuous improvement in place of policies supporting student grade retention. Because student cognitive and social development varies for all children, the NDPC supports a holistic approach that blends frequent student assessments for diagnostic purposes; flexibility in school scheduling to allow for appropriate and timely instructional interventions; and meaningful out-of-school experiences. These approaches must be supported by sufficient resources to ensure all children continue to progress in their learning.

In support of this policy, the NDPC suggests the following:

  1. All students must be periodically assessed in order to determine their educational progress;
  2. School scheduling must be flexible to allow for daily alternative curricular interventions to meet the students’ identified needs;
  3. Out-of-school experiences must complement and be coordinated with other curriculum-based interventions;
  4. Teachers must receive continuous, intensive, professional development in a variety of educational strategies to successfully implement those interventions;
  5. Parents must be informed and involved throughout the assessment/intervention process; and
  6. Sufficient resources must be allocated to provide the support so all students make continuous progress.

Background Information on this Policy Statement

Featured Resources

NDPC/N Newsletter: Alternatives to Retention – Volume 13, Number 2(2000).

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