Term of Award

Fall 2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Barbara Mallory

Committee Member 1

Randy Carlson

Committee Member 2

Phillip Smith

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify Georgia elementary teachers' beliefs and practices of student grade-level retention. Overall, elementary teachers consider grade level retention to be an acceptable school practice to improve a student's academic success and that grade level retention also provides for long-term academic success. Georgia elementary teachers with master's degrees and above, teachers in suburban communities, teachers with more experience, and fourth grade teachers believe more strongly than elementary teachers with bachelor's degrees, teachers in rural and urban areas, and third and fifth grade elementary teachers, that students who do not meet academic standards should be retained. Georgia elementary teachers in suburban communities and teachers' with more school experience felt grade level retention was an acceptable school practice for improving student achievement, even more so than teachers in rural communities and teachers with bachelor's degrees. Teachers with more experience felt grade level retention provided for long term academic success. Georgia elementary teachers also believed grade level retention can cause some students to have emotional issues after being retained. Georgia elementary teachers thought that retaining a student who had met state test score standards could be acceptable based on the student's lack of preparation for the next grade, lack of social maturity, or age. These same teachers would also consider retaining a student whose scores on state-mandated tests were barely passing. Also, most Georgia elementary teachers were either neutral or disagreed that their views were consistent with the Georgia state-mandated grade level retention policy based on the No Child Left Behind initiative.

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