Marcus Winters and I have a new study on the effects of ending social promotion in Florida that appeared this month in the journal, Education Finance and Policy. In our earlier published research we observed that retained students made greater academic gains in subsequent grades than did promoted students who were just like them. But we could only track students for 2 years after the intervention, so we didn’t know if the benefits we observed compounded or faded over time.
In the new study we track students for as many as 5 years after retention. The benefits of the policy do diminish, but they remain statistically significant and educationally substantial through middle school. We hope to continue tracking these students through high school, graduation, and even college, but so far it looks like there are enduring benefits to ending social promotion.