You, as the parent, have the final call. If they want to hold him back and you don't agree, they can "place" him in first grade without promoting him. ETA: You *should* have the final call. It really depends on the school system.
Kindergarten has seriously changed in the last few years. Those little kids are expected to do work that was formerly at a first, even second grade level. And some are ready for it. The majority, however, how being forced to wrap their little brains around material that they're simply not developmentally prepared for. It's not a natural progression, but the standards of learning are created by people who don't understand child development. Teachers are then told to implement the curriculum; there is no time or flexibility for the individual. If a teacher does not keep up with the curriculum and its time-line, it's her job, regardless of tenure. The only way the trend is going to slow down is if teachers finally get a collective backbone and push back. Frequently children are held back because, if they are not progressing at the speed the school system expects of all students, their future test scores impact the school.
All that said, if YOU have concerns about your son going on to first grade, there is NOTHING wrong with holding him back.
|I would seriously think about not holding him back. I think it is important to stay with his age group and learn on those skills that 'need improvement'. It may be a stigma later on that he 'flunked' kg.
It is only a stigma if you allow it to be. There is no shame in flunking any grade, including--or maybe especially--kindergarten. It's a lot harder for the child who gets a "social promotion", but still can't keep up. It's a lot more embarrassing when the child reaches fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade and is still not reading (and it happens too often). Those skills that "need improvement" grow. The child needs to build on those skills to learn other skills and, if never quite grasps those orginal skills and the teacher moves on (and they do; they can't wait), it has a snowball effect. He's completely lost. If a child is held back early, he'll start the year ahead of the game; he'll stay with the same group of kids and view them as his peers, not the group he was in kindergarten with so many years ago.
At your conference, ask the teacher for specifics. Explain how much growth you've seen and ask what their expectations were. And follow your heart.