Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Retaining First Graders at Achievement First

Achievement First Providence Mayoral Academy Boards of Directors Retreat Thursday, July 24, 2014:

Brian (Gallogly) asked whether families are leaving

Three families leaving. Two kids, from one family, are going to Iowa. One kid leaving because of retention (few literacy skills for this scholar when she arrived in 1st grade, almost made it to the goal, but parent pulled her, AFPMA is calling throughout the summer but it seems they’re out)

This student had almost more growth than any other scholar. She started below kindergarten and made it almost to the proficiency level to be advanced to 2nd grade.

AFPMA recommends to her new school that she be retained. She’s going to a neighborhood school. Slight chance she’ll show up in August.

Retaining first graders is disturbing on a number of levels, particularly if students are actually progressing fast enough to catch up over the next year or two. But getting down to brass tacks, its damned expensive! Under the current funding formula, charters have no financial disincentive to retain students at great cost to the city and state, with the only clear benefit being to their test scores. We really need more data on the rate of grade retention in charters.

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