Beyond grade retention and social promotion: Toward supporting students with learning and behavioral disabilities

Shane R. Jimerson, Aaron Haddock, Jacqueline A. Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


During the past decade, amid the current context emphasizing educational standards and accountability, the practice of grade retention has increased. The call for an end to social promotion has generated a variety of recommendations and legislation regarding promotion policies. This context has served as a catalyst for numerous debates regarding the use of grade retention and social promotion. In an era emphasizing evidencebased interventions, research indicates that neither grade retention nor social promotion is a successful strategy for improving educational success. Meta-analyses of studies during the past 100 years reveal deleterious outcomes associated with grade retention. Moreover, research also reveals prevention and intervention strategies that are likely to promote the social or academic competence of students at-risk of poor school performance. It is essential that educational professionals are familiar with the research when implementing interventions to promote student success. This chapter provides a brief synthesis of contemporary concerns and empirical studies examining student outcomes associated with grade retention, and also describes alternatives to grade retention. Particular consideration is given to implications for students with learning and behavioral disabilities, and the importance of focusing empirically supported strategies to promote student social and cognitive competence. Overall, educational professionals are encouraged to incorporate evidence-based programs and policies to facilitate the success of all students.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClassroom Behavior, Contexts, and Interventions
EditorsBryan Cook, Melody Tankersley, Timothy Landrum
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities
ISSN (Print)0735-004X


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond grade retention and social promotion: Toward supporting students with learning and behavioral disabilities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this