Is it useful to repeat the course? A report by Save the Children assures that

EFE

Grade repetition in Spain, with one of the highest rates in Europe,
does not improve learningit is not applied objectively because the student from a low socioeconomic level is almost three times more likely to repeat than the one from the affluent class and it is an expensive practice:
1,441 million euros per year.

These are some of the conclusions of the Save the Children report, presented today Tuesday at a press conference, «
Repeating is not learning. Debunked myths and possible alternatives to inefficient and inequitable practice«, which proposes alternative strategies to reduce repetition without lowering the level.

With PISA results statistically equivalent to the OECD countries, the Spanish repetition rate
doubles that of Austria and Italyfour times those of Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Slovakia, it is six times greater than in the Czech Republic, seven times that of Latvia, it is eight times those of Finland and Sweden and 11 times greater than the United Kingdom, highlights the study.

Canarias, one of the seven communities that starts the course without the approved curricula

During his presentation, Álvaro Ferrer, an education expert at Save the Children, and his director of Social and Political Advocacy, Catalina Perazzo, have asked to take advantage of the educational reform (Celaá Law) to train and accompany teaching teams
in changing beliefs Y
practices and in effective alternatives to manage groups with different levels and rhythms.

According to Perazzo, Spain is the country with the highest repetition rate in secondary education in the European Union and in the OECD,
8.7% vs. 2.2% on average in the EU and 1.9% in the OECD, and at the age of 15, 29% of Spanish students have repeated a year.

“What these data and our study show is that we are facing a cultural problem that is not a legal framework because we have seen that with the same regulations in Spain we have eight times more repetition of Finland”, a practice that is also “more pronounced” in public centers that welcome "the most vulnerable students".

Non-objective evaluations

The problem is exacerbated when the student comes from a family with few resources: «They have a high probability of repeating», «
almost three times more« That if he belongs to a wealthy class.

The latter, according to Ferrer, is due to the fact that Spain is one of the countries with the least training in strategy for managing differences in the level of student groups, which means that "many times the teaching staff, although they are aware that sometimes repetition
not the best solution it seems that it is the only one that is offered to him and, often, he does not objectively apply the criteria to make repeat, probably unintentionally«.

Other «hypotheses» have to do with the levels of segregation of the centers, in which the teacher is «
overwhelmed and resorts more systematically to repetition«; to the fact that families with more resources can offer reinforcement to their son during the summer, the teacher knows this and lets him pass the course, or to the more disruptive behavior of students with fewer resources.

With this report, Ferrer and Perazzo have added, they want to demystify the widespread social belief about the supposed benefits of repetition, a measure that has «
a lot of social and political support«.

Among the «myths», stands out that of thinking that repetition is normal to manage the diversity of student levels and is used in all countries, however «two out of three OECD partners have repetition rates in students of 15 years less than 10% and
in almost half (47%) of the countries reaches less than 5% of students. This demonstrates that an educational system can function with a residual level of repetition«.

Nor is it true, according to the Save The Children report, that if repetition is high it is due to the fact that the educational level is low in Spain: «one of every three repeaters in our country
has reached the basic proficiency level of PISA in all subjects and has achieved the goals set at the end of compulsory schooling«.

According to Ferrer and Perazzo, the criteria used in Spain to assess school progress are stricter than those established by the OECD and the countries around us, and the students who in Spain are considered
an insufficient level they would not be in other countries.

It is also a myth to maintain that repetition improves performance and academic progress, since the most recent research concludes that this practice "has a
no effect on learning and harms the most disadvantaged students«.

«It can have positive effects in the same year of repeating −something that explains some perceptions− by including a content partly known by the person who repeats, but they dissipate and even become negative as schooling progresses. In the long term, it contributes
to school dropout«.

In this sense, repetition is «
especially negative«In Spain, where the same contents are repeated in the same way and without accompanying measures or formulas that seek a different form of learning, the study insists.

In addition, the NGO concludes that repeating the course
worsens the perception of students about their own abilities and decreases their interest in making an effort.

On the other hand, Ferrer has stressed that "there is no relationship between the level of the ratio of students per teacher that we have in Spain and our high levels of repetition, that is, if we look at where we are in ratio and where we are in repetition, Spain would have what to have
three times less repetition of the one we have, therefore it would not be the ratio that is explaining our anomaly«.

In his opinion, it is possible to "drastically lower repetition in a short time without lowering the level if we train and accompany teaching teams as France or Portugal have done, which, having higher levels, have managed to lower the rate
faster than us«.

high costs

Given its high cost, repetition is a measure «
inefficient«. Taking data from the 2019-2020 academic year, the direct costs rise to
1,441 million euroswhich represents 6.2% of public spending on primary and secondary education, the education budget of the Canary Islands.

Save the Children proposes to dedicate the economic resources −or, at least, a part of them−
to pay extracurricular reinforcements in small groups for 2,217,000 students (47% of the total in primary and ESO in public and concerted centers); o 44,700 extra teachers for co-teaching.

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