New NJ law allows parents to request that their child repeat a grade

The measure is meant to address learning loss caused by the pandemic and prolonged virtual instruction

As details continue to emerge about the extent of learning loss caused for some students by prolonged virtual instruction during the pandemic, parents in New Jersey now have another option.

For parents who believe their child isn’t at the learning level they should be, a new law allows them to hold the student back a year. The legislation applies to kids in kindergarten through 8th grade for the upcoming school year. It’s a move lawmakers say makes it clear to parents that they have a say in their child’s education. Child advocates agree parents have the right to keep their child back although some say it could lead to negative effects down the line.

“This was a very difficult year and remote education just doesn’t work well. These children learn best hands-on in person with each other. And parents have been very frustrated and too many children have been frustrated,” said Steve Barnett, founding co-director of the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University.

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