School Grade Span and Configurations Which Include the Eighth Grade


Ben E. Cox

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

Arthur R. Southerland

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


The research was designed to determine the relationship between school grade span configurations and mathematics achievement of eighth grade students in Mississippi school districts. The relationships of the demographic variables of racial composition or the school system, per capita income of the community, and average per pupil expenditure of each school with mathematics achievement were also considered, as well as, interactions between these variables. The school grade span configurations considered for this study were K-8, K-12, 5-8, and 7-12. Schools were grouped into these categories regardless of the number of students enrolled or the geographical location of the particular school. Of the 149 Mississippi school districts that had reported scores on the Stanford Achievement test, 135 were included in this study; this accounted for a total of 197 schools. All of the school districts were not included in this study, because some school districts had no schools organized into one of the four grade span configurations analyzed in this study. The study determined that there was a significant difference between the school grade span configurations on the criterion variable of mathematics achievement. The study also determined that there was a significant difference between the grade spans of 7-12 and 5-8, with the highest mean of mathematics achievement occurring at the 5-8 grade span.