my twin granddaughters are 7 in 2nd grade. Florida Stafford 10 test , decides whether a child passes on to next grade level. They both had passing grade on report card, but one failed the reading and math , and one failed the reading passed the math on the test, last day of school found out one can move on with a letter about reading, and one can not. Want to keep them both back, if goes on to 3rd grade struggling, may need the extra year. Florida has FACT test with have gotten harder. Some children do not test well. I am not sure where the disconnect is with them. They are both very smart.
I really don't like the situation, and disagree with the premise of high-stakes testing. However, in this situation, if I had to decide what to do, and keeping them in their school was the preferred upon decision, I would keep both back, not promote one and retain the other.
i thought holding kids back was a practice that was largely given up on. hmmm, well, I would say, how was the child performing aside from the testing? if she did well enough aside from the test, then why are the test scores even relevant??? what matters is whether or not she is ready for what will be expected of her the following year. I would have a meeting with her current teacher and next year's teacher and see what they think about how well she would do if she was passed on in spite of the test scores.
While I totally agree that the situation is terrible (as is the system) I wouldn't hold one back because of the other. It seems extremely unfair to both of them. How are you going to explain that to the twin who has met the requirements to move forward? "I know your results are great and you have worked hard, but you need to stay with your sister and repeat all the stuff you already know, say goodbye to your friends, etc etc". I would be extremely worried about serious resentment and anger.
My twins have totally different academic achievement levels. One is perfectly, beautifully "average" (horrible word, but I mean in academics only) and the other is in all gifted programs, etc. I have never expected them to be academically the same- just as I have never expected them to be good at the same sports, the same creative outlets, the same social situations. They are two people.
I really can understand that its going to be difficult for the twin held back, I am not discounting her feelings. But I just can't imagine 'punishing' (again, I wish I had a better word than that, just can't think of one) the other because of her sisters results.
I'm really late to this thread. Retention is not a great solution for a lot of kids with academic issues. The best course would be to figure out what went wrong and make a plan to address that problem, through a 504 plan or IEP if needed.
Given that the report card grades were good and you describe the kids as bright, it seems likely that these two, really quite young, children, aren't strong test-takers yet. A little tutoring might help, but given strong academic performance it seems likely that they will overcome this difficulty as they mature. If I were giving their mom advice, I would suggest that she use the grades to demand that these kids be promoted to the next grade, and consider the possibility that they may need help with test-taking skills. If they had passing grades, then there are really two possibilities:
- the problem was that second graders don't test well, and everything is fine - no need for retention or services.
- the teacher is really bad at evaluating and reporting student learning and the test is revealing this problem - may be a need for services, but retention with the same team is unlikely to make a difference.
I would never endorse a plan to retain a child without an IEP or 504 in place to address whatever problem prevented the child from learning a year's worth of material in a year's worth of classroom instruction. Doing the same thing again is unlikely to fix the problem.