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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Phyllis Hensley

Second Committee Member

Stephen Davis

Third Committee Member

Kathleen Boomer


Purpose . The purpose of this study was to determine (a) the perceptions of teachers concerning the desirability and effectiveness of selected alternatives to social promotion and grade retention, (b) the perceptions of elementary school principals toward selected alternatives to social promotion and grade retention, and (c) compare the differences and similarities of perceptions of teachers and elementary school principals toward selected alternatives to social promotion and grade retention. The rationale for this investigation was derived from empirical research demonstrating retention's negative impact on retained students. Procedure . The sample population in the study included 114 second and third grade teachers and 36 elementary school principals. The study determined and compared the effectiveness of alternatives to social promotion and grade retention as perceived by representative samples of second and third grade teachers and elementary school principals from Stockton Unified, Manteca Unified, Lincoln Unified and Lodi Unified School Districts of San Joaquin County, California. Data for the study were collected through mail survey, which contained 29 items. Participants in the study expressed their degrees of agreement or disagreement regarding each item by selecting the appropriate response on a four-point Likert-type scale. Data collected through the survey were statistically analyzed using the Statistical Package of Social Science (SPSS) on a personal computer. Means, standard deviations, and rankings were computed for each survey item. A series of independent sample t tests were performed to determine if any significant differences existed between teachers' and school administrators' perceptions with regard to selected alternatives to retention. Findings . Principals and teachers strongly endorsed parental involvement, early identification and timely intervention, providing high-quality curriculum and instruction, high-quality professional development for teachers, and recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers as the best alternatives to social promotion and grade retention. Conclusions and recommendations . Schools need to identify at-risk children early and provide targeted intervention. Parental involvement in the education of their children is crucial. School Districts should also strive to hire, and retain well-trained teachers and equip every classroom with high-quality curriculum and rich learning environment.




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