Texas A&M researcher warns of potential danger in holding students back

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KTRK) -- Now that your children are back in school, you might notice they're not making the good grades you'd hoped this year.

One Texas A&M researcher is sounding the alarm, saying the practice of holding students back in elementary school could eventually keep them from graduation.

This recent research reveals that kids who had to repeat a grade are much more likely than their peers to drop out of high school.

We talked with Professor Jan N. Hughes, Ph.D., who tracked almost 800 Texas students for 14 years.

The research started in first grade and following the students through what should have been graduation. Hughes says that although students who repeated a grade did continue to make progress through junior high, it just didn't last.

"When they hit 9th grade, those children who had previously been retained, were much more likely to drop out of school, during or following their first year in grade nine," said Hughes.

Hughes says the data will be examined further, but you can help your children now.

Hughes' first suggestion is a no-brainer: talk to the teacher. Find out how your teacher prefers to be contacted, via email or phone calls and how quickly you can expect a response. Also, don't skip those all-important parent-teacher nights and conferences.

Ask early and often about your child's homework. Make yourself familiar with what parts of the learning process your child is having trouble with that might be helped by different methods of teaching or extra time on-task.

Ask if your child qualifies for additional resources, such as a reading specialist, tutoring, or academic evaluations which could diagnose learning difficulties. The idea is to make sure your child is a candidate for extra services, not simply for being held back.

Follow Elissa Rivas on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.