The differences in reading achievement patterns of third-grade students according to their first-grade promotional statuses

Cassandra Green Conner

Abstract

This study determined if reading achievement patterns differed among third-grade students who were promoted or retained in the first grade. Third-grade scores from the Advanced Reading Test and the Total Reading Test of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills were compared according to a student's first-grade promotional status. The study also ascertained if elementary teachers perceived grade retention as a successful strategy for improving reading achievement through the use of the instrument, "Teachers' Perceptions about Retention Questionnaire." The interaction between promotional status groups and the variables of age, gender, and ethnicity was ascertained for both of the criterion variables of Advanced Reading Achievement and Total Reading Achievement. Additionally, the study ascertained if the variables of age, gender, ethnicity, reading achievement, and teacher's perception significantly discriminated between the promotional status categories. In this study third-grade students who were promoted at the end of the first grade achieved at a higher rate than did the third-grade students who were retained in the first-grade on both reading achievement variables. An additional finding of this study was that the teachers' perceptions of the relationship between reading achievement and retention was related to the difference between the retained and promoted subjects on both the variables of reading achievement.