Student retention not the answer

-A A +A

I felt I had to write this letter because of the number of parents who expressed disappointment in the educational system.

It appears that several students were retained, and this really concerns me.

At UNM, I took classes in Supervision of Instruction.

One of the things the instructor taught us is that retention of students has never been proved to work for the better.

I did a field study in which I interviewed several hundred students and their parents about the number of students dropping out of school. There were several factors affecting the individual, but one of the main reasons why students lose interest and drop out of school is because of retention. The students’ self-esteem suffers, their interest in school goes down, and they feel like the whole world labels them.

I did talk to some students that had been promoted socially, and believe it or not, the students graduated and went on to college. Many of them are very successful today. I worked with students of all ages. I found out from experience that the self-esteem is the most important personality trait affecting a human being.

Parents have a big say-so in their children’s education and I believe that what one child can learn, all children can learn. There are thousands of dollars poured into education today. Why are there no good “tutor” programs in place? There is absolutely no reason to retain students. To do so is to tell students and parents that the educational system was only put in place for the smart and the talented. Parents need to educate the school board and administration sometimes.

Everyone in the system has a job because of their child, and even if reevaluation is needed we cannot afford to lose one child.

I know it’s tough to be a teacher, but good teacher attitudes are what have given us doctors, attorneys, teachers, principals and superintendents, even school board members.

Take my letter seriously. Children are our future. What happens to their future depends on us. Retention never helps.

Rosalie Regensberg