The given section of the book primarily focuses on the overall ineffectiveness and implausibility of retaining children in grades in order to facilitate their learning process. Approximately 10% of all school students in the United States are “flunked” each year, which is equal to 450000 children (Berliner & Glass, 2014). In other words, the practice is prevalent across the nation, and its effects are prominent, which makes the general discussion even more relevant. The author further offers more evidence in regard to the flaws of “flunking” students, where research does not favor retention. It is stated that some studies show promoted students exhibiting better performance than retained ones, whereas other scientists claim that there is no significant difference (Berliner & Glass, 2014). In other words, there is no supporting evidence, which would justify the “flunking” practice. Children will evidently perform better at the repeated grade due to familiarity, but the following one will not indicate any improvement. Therefore, the author provides and systematically overviews key scientific research to debunk the myth.
Based on the text and facts, one can have a clearer understanding of various standard policies imposed on schools and the education system in general. An educator should not rely on regulations alone because they can be flawed or ineffective. Thus, it is highly important for a teacher or school to be aware of the scientific basis behind such practices to avoid dealing with unnecessary harm. For example, the research tells that retained students’ attitudes towards school significantly worsen (Berliner & Glass, 2014). The provided fact, in combination with a nullified performance improvement, makes “flunking” highly damaging and hindering. Therefore, one should be reluctant to follow practices with no scientific basis.
Berliner, D. C., & Glass, G. V. (2014). 50 myths and lies that threaten America’s public schools: The real crisis in education. Teachers College Press.