“Generally, students who get a poor start in reading rarely catch up. In fact, second grade is often their last chance to learn to read. If by third grade they read below grade level, students have ‘little chance of ever catching up.’ Thus, early intervention is critical. When early intervention is not provided, struggling readers make little, if any, progress, often resulting in grade retention, which exacerbates their problems. Over the long term, grade retention does not typically increase student performance. It may even damage students’ chances of academic and social success. Clearly, it is one of the most powerful predictors of school dropout. Early intervention—intervention that is focused, intensive, and implemented by knowledgeable, skilled practitioners—is an essential key to preventing grade retention and strengthening students’ academic achievement” (Bowman-Perrott, 2010, p. 1, references omitted).
“Small gaps in reading abilities at the elementary school level often become large ones at the middle and high school levels. The term Matthew effect can describe this phenomenon—students who are behind in reading get further behind, and those who are making gains continue to make gains” (Bowman-Perrott, Herrera, & Murry, 2010, p. 98, references omitted).
Bowman-Perrott, L. (2010). Introduction to grade retention among struggling readers. Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 26, 1-3.
Bowman-Perrott, L. J., Herrera, S., & Murry, K. (2010) Reading difficulties and grade retention: What’s the connection for English Language Learners?, Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 26: 1, 91-107.