Intervention Beats Retention!

Michigan House Bill 5111 would retain third-graders that score below a standardized-test benchmark in reading.

There are BETTER options.

“We know from research and practice that there are ways other than retention to increase young children’s reading and mathematics skills. Focusing our resources on these evidence-based practices will in the long run serve our society better…”      [Click on IMAGE to View VIDEO]

Oakland Schools

                                                [VIDEO Also Available for Viewing on VIMEO]

“Interventions have proven to work, and they are particularly important for children of poverty, as these students are significantly more likely to struggle to read in third grade and beyond.”

Among the interventions suggested in this video:

  • Universal preschool (with programs that enhance learning and social skills)
  • Intensive tutoring
  • Age appropriate and culturally sensitive instruction strategies that accelerate progress in all classrooms
  • Effective early reading programs
  • Student support teams to assess, identify, address and evaluate learning or behavior problems
  • Appropriate education services for children with educational disabilities, including collaboration between regular, remedial and special education teachers
  • Extended school day and year; plus, summer school programs that focus on improving student learning
  • Full service schools to provide a community-based vehicle for the organization and delivery of educational, social and health services to meet the diverse needs of at-risk students

“We will ultimately have a higher return on investment as early interventions produce higher achieving students. But most importantly, this approach will better serve our young students who, instead of experiencing the emotionally stressful results of grade retention, will receive needed educational interventions beginning as early as preschool.

How do we best prepare Michigan’s children for college and careers? INTERVENTION, not retention.”  – Dr. Firestone

[This webcast features Les Howard, Literacy Education Consultant, Oakland Schools, and Dr. Joan Firestone, Director of Early Childhood, Oakland Schools]


Michigan House Bill 5111

The Third-Grade Crackdown Club by Nancy Flanagan/Education Week Teacher

Keeping 3rd Graders Behind by Kathy Coffey, Ed.S/literacygurl blog

What Research Says About… / Grade Retention by Jane L. David/ASCD

Third Grade Again: The Trouble With Holding Students Back by Emily Richmond/The Atlantic

The Best Resources For Learning About Grade Retention, Social Promotion & Alternatives To Both by Larry Ferlazzo

******Oakland SchoolsBlog Editor: Jean MacLeod, Communications/Oakland Schools


 Oakland Schools • 2111 Pontiac Lake Road • Waterford, MI 48328-2736 • 248.209.2000

One comment

  1. Jean Schmeichel · · Reply

    This solution has proven to make things worse, not better. It is the epitome of ignorance on the part of politicians.

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