A new report from Johns Hopkins found that more than 90,000 students from six states repeated ninth grade in 2004-05, with nearly three in 10 students repeating ninth-grade in one of them.
I thought it was interesting so I am putting the info up here for your perusal. I have not seen much research on kids held back in their freshman year.
I wonder if the high school and middle school graduation coaches are impacting this rate in Georgia?
According to the release on the report:
“Still a Freshman: Examining the Prevalence and Characteristics of Ninth-Grade Retention Across Six States,” introduces a new measure, the first-time ninth-grade estimate, to study ninth-grade retention rates that can help teachers and administrators identify and help students while there is time to keep them on the graduation path.
The report also looks at students who are repeating ninth grade by school size, location, percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, race/ethnicity, and pupil/teacher ratio.
The states are Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
Because states do not distinguish between repeat and first-time ninth-graders when they report fall enrollments, the estimate uses adjusted counts of first-time ninth-graders who are used by the states to calculate graduation rates, explained the report’s author Thomas C. West, a senior research analyst at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The estimate is calculated by dividing the adjusted number of first-time ninth-graders from the graduation rate by the total number of ninth-grade students reported for the same school year. The study focuses on the class of 2008, whose members were ninth-graders in 2004-05.
The six states were chosen because they use the same method to calculate graduation rates for the Class of 2008 and because they represent not only the areas producing the most dropouts, but also those with average dropout rates, showing that the new measure is reliable in different conditions.
Ninth grade is found to be a critical year because students who are not successful often drop out. Most schools and districts depend on graduation rates to measure student success, but they are reported too late to get help to students who need it.
Other findings include:
- In South Carolina more than 40 percent of high schools had ninth-grade retention rates above 30 percent. In Massachusetts, New York, Indiana and Virginia, 5 to 8 percent of the schools had retention rates above 30 percent.
- Nearly three in 10 students repeated ninth grade in South Carolina; two in 10 in North Carolina and slightly more than 10 percent in New York, Indiana and Virginia.
- One in 10 students repeated ninth grade in Massachusetts.
- In Massachusetts, New York, Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina, more than one-third of the students attended schools with first-time ninth-grade estimates below the state average. In South Carolina, more than two-third s of the students attended schools with estimates below the state average.
- As concentrations of poor and minority students increase in a school, the percentage of students repeating ninth grade also rises.
The value of this new measure is in identifying struggling students early enough to get them help, said West. If states and districts were asked to report the enrollments for both first-time ninth-graders and repeating ninth-graders as of Oct. 1 of each school year, then administrators would know if they had a population of students who need assistance long before those students became part of the graduation — or dropout — rate, he recommended.
The Everyone Graduates Center seeks to identify the barriers that keep students from graduating high school prepared for adult success; to develop ways to overcome these barriers, and to build local capacity to implement and sustain them. It is located at the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins.