- A new study published by the Educational Researcher found that, from the 2004-05 school year to 2009-10, the number of students held back a grade dropped by almost half.
- The most notable drops in retention occurred for boys and students of color. In 1999-2000, 3.5% of boys were held back a grade, while in the 2009-10 school year, only 1.6% of boys were held back.
- In both 1999-2000 and 2004-05, 4.9% of black students were retained, while in 2009-10, that number dropped to 2%.
While the study did not address what caused the decline, lead researcher John Robert Warren told the Huffington Post that it may have to do with the advent of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System, which allows schools to share data. Viewing the sobering stats may have made schools change their approach. He did not think it had to do with the recession or No Child Left Behind.
It should be noted that Warren told the Huffington Post, "Nothing in this study should suggest that [the decrease in retention rates] is a good or a bad thing."