First Advisor

John Lind

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership and Policy




Children with social disabilities -- Education -- United States



Physical Description

3, xi, 124 leaves 28 cm.


This study, conducted in a suburban school district, examined academic achievement and demographic considerations for a group of students overage for their respective grades. Records of 127 subjects were examined and data collected with respect to student performance on academic indicators of at risk behavior. Indicators were scores on criterion referenced tests in reading and mathematics as well as school absence figures for all subjects. These data were subjected to ANOVA and Chi Square Tests of significance to ascertain if there were differences between the students who were overage due to in-grade retention and those overage for other reasons. Research hypotheses were formulated as null statements which averred there would be no differences within or between groups and further, that there would be no differences between the groups with regard to gender, ethnicity, participation in Federal meal plans and identification as handicapped under the provisions of PL 94-142. Significance was demonstrated only in regard to reading scores of all subjects in the primary research hypothesis. This apparent significance may be due to other factors. The secondary research hypothesis was supported. The demographic hypothesis was supported in regard to gender and minority group membership. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 1. This study supports other research evidence that overage students are at greater risk for failure to complete academically appropriate programs than are their age-appropriate cohort. 2. Indicators of school failure can be seen during the elementary school years in the population of students who are overage for their grades whether or not they were retained in grade. 3. There appears to be no distinction in terms of academic indicators of at-risk performance, absence and demographic considerations between subjects who were retained in-grade and those who were older for other reasons e. g ., starting school a year after the legally permitted age. 4. Disadvantaged, male, minority, and handicapped students were overrepresented in both groups. 5. This study adds validation to the literature which overwhelmingly fails to support retention or other interventions which leave students overage for grade. 6. Schools need to devise and install interventions other than in-grade retention and other practices rendering the student older than the age-grade cohort. 7. Educators should examine district policies regarding overage students and in-grade retention for congruence with research findings as opposed to the tacit belief systems of many educators, parents, community members and legislators.


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