An analysis of the effectiveness of the promotion/retention policy in reducing absenteeism in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Secondary Schools
This study analyzed the effect of the newly adopted Promotion/Retention Policy on attendance in the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System. Rate of attendance for random samples of 9,517 secondary students was compared the year before implementation, 1984-85, and the year after, 1985-86. Further analysis was conducted to compare the effect of the policy upon various subgroups of the sample including: (a) grade level, (b) sex, (c) race, (d) socioeconomic level, (e) dropouts, and (f) retainees. A matched pairs sample of 689 students was compared similarly. The results showed significant gains in rate of attendance for the total sample. Students of varying ages and maturity levels as represented by grade level experienced significant gains in attendance rate as did males and females. While both blacks and whites experienced significant gains in attendance, blacks experienced greater gains in mean rate of attendance. Using eligibility requirements for the federal free- and reduced-lunch program to identify lower socioeconomic subjects, comparisons were made between lunch and nonlunch subjects. Even though lower socioeconomic subjects experienced greater gains, all levels experienced significant gains. Significant gains were made by dropouts and non-dropouts. Not only did dropouts exhibit larger gains than non-dropouts, but fewer students dropped out in 1985-86 than in 1984-85. Those students who were retained showed greater gains than those promoted, although both groups increased significantly. Subjects were further assigned to one of eleven cells based upon rate of attendance beginning with one as the lowest attendance group to eleven as the highest. Reductions were found in the first five cells while increases were found in cells six through eleven. This presented further evidence that definite shift from lower to higher attendance rates did occur. The greatest gains were found among twelfth graders, retainees, blacks, and dropouts. No group was adversely affected by the policy as every subgroup gained in rate of attendance. This study led to the conclusion that the attendance component of the Promotion/Retention Policy should remain in effect due to its positive impact in improving attendance.
Carol Autenrieth Hammond,
"An analysis of the effectiveness of the promotion/retention policy in reducing absenteeism in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Secondary Schools"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.