David Trimble

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

C. James Hardy


The Student Success Initiative was designed and implemented to make sure students in the state of Texas were academically prepared before moving to the next grade. If a student in the state of Texas does not pass the reading and or mathematics portion of the STAAR test in the fifth and eighth grade, that student is automatically retained. Parents have the right to appeal this retention and that appeal is conducted through a Grade Placement Committee. Grade Placement Committees are made up of school administrators, teachers, and parents. The decision of the Grade Placement Committee must be unanimous or the student will be retained.The purpose of this study was to determine what factors administrators and teachers believed were important when making a grade placement decision. The study was conducted by using a three round Delphi study. The study surveyed 16 administrators and 16 teachers in a large urban school district in the state of Texas.School administrators identified 29 factors that met the minimum mean of 2.0 to be considered in the final data. Of the 29 factors that administrators identified, 21 were categorized as nonacademic while eight were categorized as academic.Teacher identified 29 factors that they believed were important in making grade placement decisions. The factors that teachers identified were also categorized with 12 as academic and 17 as nonacademic.The results of the study showed that school administrators were making grade placement decisions based on issues that were not academic in nature. Teachers were also using nonacademic factors to determine grade placement, but at a rate lower than administrators.The intent of the Student Success Initiative was to end social promotion, but this study demonstrates that is not the case.


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington