Key Questions

1. What happened to dropout rates after implementation of the eighth-grade promotion gate?

2. Did retention at the gate affect students' likelihood of dropping out?

3. Did retention at the gate lead students to drop out at an earlier age than they would have without the gate?

4. Did simultaneous improvements in student achievement lead more students to stay in school?

5. Were dropout trends different for subgroups of students: by race, gender, exclusion from testing, or age at which students encountered the promotion gate?


This report, partnered with Ending Social Promotion: The Effects of Retention, completes the six-year ending social promotion research series. This report fills the gap in knowledge about the effect of the eighth-grade promotion gate on dropout rates. It evaluates whether retention at the eighth-grade gate affected students’ likelihood of dropping out, if retention at the gate caused students to drop out at earlier ages, and if dropout trends were different for subgroups of students by race, gender, and exclusion from testing. For a full analysis of the ending social promotion policy, please refer to our series of research studies.