Studies indicate more than two million American children will be retained, or held back a grade level, at the end of this school year, and for many families the agonizing process of deciding to retain or promote is already underway. The brain training experts at LearningRx Warren urge parents to consider another, better option before that decision is made.

“Brain training helps struggling students develop the mental skills, confidence and motivation to break away from the back of the class,” says Marcia Douglas, Executive Director of LearningRx Warren. “After brain training our students are often able to eliminate the need for accommodations, medications, remediation, and even special education programs. For many struggling learners, brain training may be the only way to avoid the pitfalls of being retained a grade or promoted into a higher grade when unprepared.”

Hundreds of studies have examined the effects of holding back struggling students to master necessary skills and knowledge (retention) vs. promoting them to the next grade, despite poor performance, to keep them with their age-mates and friends (social promotion). In general, the studies show:

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  • Children who are retained have no measurable long-term academic advantage over similarly performing classmates who were promoted, and many studies show repeating a grade makes students fall further behind
  • Students who were retained at least one grade are much more likely to drop out of school.
  • Grade retention is widely used, but reporting efforts vary drastically. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2004, just 9.6 percent of American kids age 16 -19 had been held back at least one grade. However, other studies indicate that number could be as high as 50 percent.

“For so many struggling students, weak cognitive skills are the root cause of the problem – low achievement, poor grades and even behavior issues are simply the symptoms,” says Douglas. “LearningRx brain training strengthens those underlying mental skills and leads to a faster, smarter, more efficient brain. It’s the most effective way to give kids the tools they need to succeed in school,and at grade level, for the rest of their school days. ”

A review of 2009 LearningRx results shows impressive gains for students of all levels of academic abilities, including those diagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD, speech and language disorders, autism spectrum disorders and general learning disabilities. Students enrolled in a specialized LearningRx reading program gained an average of 2.9 years of reading ability in less than six months of brain training.

To help parents and teachers make an informed decision about retention versus promotion, LearningRx Warren is offering discounted cognitive skills testing using the nationally renowned Woodcock Johnson III Test of Cognitive Skills and Abilities.  This assessment will identify strengths and weaknesses in the underlying cognitive skills everyone needs to be a successful learner and reader.  Regularly $299, LearningRx Warren is offering this comprehensive evaluation for $249, including a follow-up, personal consultation with Executive Director Marcia Douglas.  At the consult the results of the assessment will be explained thoroughly and parents will have the chance to have pertinent questions answered relating to their child’s learning struggles.

For more information on brain training, please stop by the LearningRx Warren center at 34 Mountain Boulevard, Building C, Warren NJ 07902 or call (908) 22-BRAIN.  You can also find additional information at

About LearningRx

LearningRx brain training specializes in treating the cause – not the symptoms – of learning struggles. The programs’ game-like exercises and 1:1 trainer-to-student ratios provide guaranteed dramatic improvement in as little as 12 to 24 weeks. With more than 70 centers across the country, LearningRx brain training can help anyone – from 5 to 85 – increase the speed, power or function of their brain.