The effect of the Texas Student Success Initiative on grade 5 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) failures

Ginny Hunt, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

In an effort to end social promotion and hold students' accountable for learning, retention in grade is included in promotion policies that require students to pass state tests and courses to be advanced to the next grade.^ This study examined the impact of promotion and retention on the achievement of grade 5 students who failed the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. The study compared the achievement of the grade 5 students who failed the TAKS tests in reading and math and were promoted to the grade 5 students who failed and were retained to determine if there was a significant difference in their grade 6 TAKS reading and math scores and grade 6 end of course reading and math grades.^ The participants in this study were selected from the first two cohorts of grade 5 students who failed to meet the Texas Student Success Initiative promotion policy requirements in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006, when they failed to pass the reading, math or both tests after multiple opportunities. The students under study were enrolled in a single Texas public school district. To compare the achievement of the students who were retained and promoted, a statistical analysis was performed on the grade 6 TAKS reading and math scale scores and grade 6 end of course reading and math grades, acknowledging that the retained students would reach grade 6 one year after the promoted students. ^ The findings of this study revealed a statistically significant mean difference in TAKS reading and math grade 6 scale scores favoring the retained group of students. Although the retained group of TAKS failures scored higher on the TAKS reading and math tests in grade 6, to pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test and earn promotion, a student must earn a scale score of 2100. After a year of retention the mean scale score for the retained group was just slightly above the passing cut-off in reading and remained below the passing cut-off in math.^ Three comparisons of end of course grades in reading and math failed to reveal a statistically significant difference, with only end of course reading grades in Cohort 2 reporting a statistically significant difference. Using end of course grades as a measure of achievement revealed that there was less than a 3 percent mean difference in grades between the students who failed TAKS and were retained and who failed and were promoted. Based upon these findings the researcher concludes that the retained group of students may continue to struggle when confronted with promotional gates in future grades, as the year of retention may not have provided the academic boost necessary to ensure promotion criteria are met.^

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements

Recommended Citation

Hunt, Ginny, "The effect of the Texas Student Success Initiative on grade 5 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) failures" (2008). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3341646.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI3341646

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