Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. David Cowden

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield

Third Advisor

Dr. Teressa Staten


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of developmental kindergarten placement beyond third grade and whether differences exist in levels of academic achievement between students who participated in developmental kindergarten and those who were recommended to attend but did not.

The target population of this study spanned 3 years and included 203 kindergarten eligible students in a suburban school district in mid- Michigan who were recommended to attend developmental kindergarten. The accessible population was 105 of the original 203 students.

The Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) reading and mathematics test mean scores were analyzed for both groups of students using the pooled-variance t test. Other measures of school success such as grade retention and rate of participation in specialized programs were analyzed for both groups using chi square.

The findings of this study indicated that there is no reason to believe that developmental kindergarten placement made a significant difference in student academic achievement and rates of participation in special education or Chapter 1 programs. However, a significant difference was found between groups when compared on grade retention.

Although findings of this study are not supportive of developmental kindergarten programs, there were no findings indicating that the developmental kindergarten program causes harm to students. It was recommended that a program evaluation be conducted and plans for ongoing assessment be developed. It was further recommended that a study of other program alternatives for meeting the diverse needs of children entering kindergarten be considered.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access