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Talent & education

See how your school ranks on kindergarten repeats

Almost 14,000 kindergarten students were held back for a second year of kindergarten classes in the 2010-11 school year. A Bridge Magazine analysis of state data found wide disparities in the rates of such kindergarten retention, however. And these rates are not tied to academic success, poverty or other research factors.

Districts in rural areas and in Northern Michigan tended to have higher retention rates than those in suburban and urban areas of the state, Bridge found.

In some districts, one-third or more of the a kindergarten class will be held back each year – as a matter of routine and policy.


Using data compiled by Public Sector Consultants, a Lansing-based research firm, Bridge ranked 337 school districts by their retention rate. (Please note that not all public school districts will be in the list; state datasets do not give detailed breakdowns on any district that retains fewer than 10 students in a grade level in a year.)

Nos. 1-45

Nos. 46-90

Nos. 91-135

Nos. 136-180

Nos. 181-225

Nos. 226-270

Nos. 271-315

Nos. 316-337

2 comments from Bridge readers.Add mine!

  1. Dave Sipka

    It appears your numbers reflect students who were in a developmental kindergarten program – some districts call it by different names – Pre-K, Early Kindergarten, Jump Start, etc. My guess is that some districts did not delineate between K and D-K and others did.

    1. Anne Seaman

      That is critical criteria. It is important to distinguish between preschool programs and kindergarten. If the state expands funding for early childhood education, one quality outcome I would expect is that the number of students retained in Kindergarten should drop– significantly.

      I’m also curious about the DOB for these children. Is the “age 5 by date” set to maximize enrollment or student readiness?

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