Answer documents for the 1996-97 Grade 4 English TAAS were submitted for 42,428 students who entered Grade 1 in 1992-93 but were retained in grade before reaching Grade 5. The primary goal of retention is to give a student a year to grow and master the academic tasks of the current grade level before advancing to the next level (TEA, 1997d). Statewide, 1996-97 Grade 4 students did slightly better than 1995-96 Grade 4 students on the English TAAS, scoring one TLI point higher on the reading test and two TLI points higher on the mathematics test. However, for students who began first grade in 1992-93, retained students who took the Grade 4 English TAAS in 1996-97 did not perform as well as students who took the test on grade level the prior year, even though the retained students had received an additional year of instruction. As Table 12 shows, this was true for students regardless of English proficiency, socioeconomic status, or ethnicity.
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