Should My Child Skip a Grade?

Dear Teacher

My daughter is just 9 and finishing fourth grade. She started in a private kindergarten. Then the public school had her skip first grade and go into second. We are ready to move again and wonder if we should hold her back in fourth grade. Is it too late to do this? Currently, she has no issues, but we are worried about middle and high school. – Future Worries  

This will be your daughter’s third change of schools. Admittedly, the transition to both middle school and high school can be difficult for some students. Being able to thrive despite past changes is definitely to your child’s credit.

No one can predict the future and know if she will have trouble handling middle and high school. Most students who skip a grade continue to do well. Looking at research on this topic online could help to reassure you about your child’s ability to handle more advanced schooling.

You say that your daughter has no issues. If this is really true, why are you concerned about her ability to cope well at school in the future? Three years ago you relied on the public school’s decision to have her skip a grade, and it seems to have worked out well.         

Retention is rarely a good option, so why not ask the new school to evaluate her academically to see if this grade placement is correct. You have the whole summer if she needs to catch up on any skills.




The Value of a Good Teacher

Nobody forgets the good teachers they have had. But does being taught by a good teacher give students lasting benefits? What qualities do students identify when they consider who their good teachers are? – Seeking Good Teachers

The benefits of having a good teacher go far beyond the year or more that students spend with that teacher. In fact, having a truly excellent teacher actually leads, according to some research, to an increase in earnings later in life. Plus, good teachers have students who are more likely to attend college — even more highly ranked schools. Having a good teacher is also linked to learning more and receiving higher test scores in school.

When asked about good teachers in their schools, students identified those with certain qualities. Believe it or not, the most mentioned quality was classroom management skills.

Apparently, students want teachers who can keep order. Teachers who maintain a classroom of calm enable students to learn more effectively. Other qualities that students listed were: enthusiasm for their subject, a good sense of humor, fairness, high standards, and an ability to explain material clearly.         

Incidentally, most researchers believe students do accurately identify the good teachers. They are usually stand outs.


Do you have an education question? Send that or your comments to You can also post questions online at


Add your comment: