Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. James R. Sanders

Second Advisor

Dr. Rachel Inselberg

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield


The educational practice of retaining students in junior first grade for a year between kindergarten and first grade was the focus of this study.

Four groups of 1983-1984 students were compared in 1990-1991: (1) those recommended for first and placed in first grade (F-F), (2) those recommended for junior first and placed in junior first grade (JF-JF), (3) those recommended for junior first and placed in first grade (JF-F), and (4) those borderline between junior first and kindergarten, but placed in first grade (B-F).

The groups were compared on gender, birth month, retention, absences, and lunch status, as well as academic achievement (class placement, grade point average, scores on the California Achievement Tests [CAT, CTB/ McGraw-Hill, 1987] and category of achievement on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program [MEAP, Michigan Department of Education, 1988]) in mathematics and reading. The research groups were also compared on the total score of the Self-Concept of Academic Ability (Brookover, Paterson, & Thomas, 1962).

There were 120 randomly chosen subjects with 30 per group. The findings of this study were that the placed junior first graders were the lowest social class students, had the most retentions, were assigned to the lowest mathematics and reading classes, scored the lowest on the CAT in mathematics and reading, had lower grade point average in reading, and had the lowest self-concept of academic ability.

The major recommendation made in this study was elimination of the extra year between kindergarten and first grade.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access