Date of Award

Spring 2007

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


With new standards and increasing pressure on educators from state and national governments, it is essential that schools are able to keep up with the increasing demands placed upon them. However, increasing standards has led to an increase in the number of students that fail to meet grade level requirements. In the attempt to help more students to meet standards, the issue of social promotion, or the policy of allowing a student who did not meet requirements to continue on to the next grade, has come under fire. In this thesis, the objective was to analyze the effectiveness of the policy of social promotion. To do this, a simple survey was given to students to assess attitudes towards school in general, homework, respect for authority, and parental involvement. To gain additional data, several students volunteered access to their permanent records for analysis of their major exams and grade level scores. The scores were averaged, and based upon the results students were assigned to one of three groups: Control, At Risk, or Socially Promoted. The groups were then reassessed after the final exam in June 2006 to see if their original grouping was a good indicator of their final grade. In addition, the socially promoted group was analyzed to see how many students were able to pass after being allowed to continue on after previous failure. The major contribution of this study was to add new research on the topic of social promotion. It was found throughout the course of this study that students who were socially promoted from one grade to another continued to do poorly in school. It was also observed that students who were deemed to be "at risk" continued to pass by the slightest of margins.


Repository staff redacted select information to protect the privacy of those involved.