Publications & Resources

Should Grade Retention Decisions Be Indicators-based or Model-driven?

May 2007

Jia Wang and Haiwen Wang

This study evaluates a large urban district’s standards-based promotion policy decisions against a model-driven classification. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to explore factors related to grade retention at both the student and school level. Statistical results indicate that using students’ next year achievement test scores as criteria, the model-driven classification of retention is better than the districts’ standards-based promotion policiy decisions. Students who were predicted by the model to be retained, but were not retained, had lower test scores than students who were actually retained. School districts may incorporate this model-based approach into their current promotion and retention decision-making as an additional measure to improve the precision of their decisions.

Wang, J., & Wang, H. (2007). Should grade retention decisions be indicatorsbased or model-driven? (CSE Report 716). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).