Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
College of Education, Doctoral Program
The purpose of this study was to investigate and determine if there existed significant differences in the mathematics and reading achievement levels of students (n = 8) who were retained in sixth grade and their promoted seventh grade counterparts (n = 8), as measured by grade equivalent (GEQ) scores earned on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS). The study also sought to discover if being retained raised the academic achievement levels of the retained students. Finally, the study explored the relationship between retention and self-concept using the Student Self-concept Rating Scale (SSCRS).
Both quantitative and qualitative methodology and analyses were employed. Qualitative data analysis included uncovering themes that emerged from semi-structured interviews conducted with teacher participants (n = 5) and retained students.
The findings revealed that in the area of reading achievement, ITBS mean GEQ scores of retained and promoted students student were not statistically significantly different during the year both groups were in sixth grade. After spending an additional year in sixth grade, retained students raised their reading scores by only a half-year. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups at the end of the retention year.
In the area of mathematics achievement the ITBS mean GEQ scores of retained and promoted students was statistically significantly different during the year both groups were in sixth grade. Promoted students outperformed the retained students by a year and a half. After spending an additional year in sixth grade, although retained students made gains in mathematics, their mean score still did not equal that of their now promoted sixth grade counterparts. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups at the end of the retention year.
Retained and promoted students were administered the SSCRS. It was expected that there would exist significant differences in the self-concept levels of retained and promoted students. The quantitative analysis did not support that contention. However, qualitative interview data revealed a profile that demonstrates a low level of student self-esteem, which is the evaluative component of self-concept.
Gray Greene, Beverly, "Retention: The controversy continues" (2003). College of Education Theses and Dissertations. 121.