drop out of schoo;

Topics: High school, Dropout, Educational years Pages: 31 (3252 words) Published: April 14, 2014
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EA 020 980
Grissom, James B.; Shepard, Lorrie A.
Structural Equation Modeling of Retention and Overage
Effects on Dropping Out of School.
Mar 89
22p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the
American Educational Research Association (San
Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).
Speecheg/Conference Papers (150) -- Reports Research /Technical (143) MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Academic Failure; *Dropout Characteristics; Dropout
Programs; *Dropout Rate; Dropout Research; Elementary
Secondary Education; *Grade Repetition; School
Districts; *Socioeconomic Influences;
Underachievement
Illinois (Chicago); Texas (Austin)

ABSTRACT

This study addresses the effect that grade retention
has on-dropping out of school. ;1 structural model was developed to test the effect of grade retention on dropping out while controlling fcr the effects of other possible mediating variables, especiall. a..:hieement. This model with slight modifications was applied across four different school districts: Austin, Chicago, and two unnamed districts, one a high socioeconomic status suburban district in the Northeast, and the other a large urban district in the Southwest. Conclusions suggest that a causal connection between retention and dropping out exists; however, the model does not explain why retained students are more likely to drop out. Appended are 10 references and 5 figures. (SI)

Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made from the original document.

Structural Equation Modeling of Retention and Overage
Effects on Dropping Out of School'

James B. Grissom

Lorrie A. Shepard

U S DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Once of Educational Research and Improvement

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'Paper pr4esent.,--1 at the annual meeting of the American

Educational Research Association, San Francisco, March 1989

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t

Abstract

Studies of dropouts consistently find that repeating a
grade is associated with drc ping out of school.

Since prac-

tical constraints prohibit using an experimental design, a

structural model was developed to test the effect of grade
retention on dropping out while controlling for the effects
of other possible mediating variables, especially achievement.

This model with slight modifications was applied

across four different school districts, referred to as
Samples 1 through 4.

In each district, grade retention had a sizable effect on
dropping out.

In Sample 1 retained students were more likely

to drop out of school by an increase of 27 percentage points over students not retained.

In Samples 2 and 3 retained stu-

dents were more likely to drop out by and increase of 17 percentage points.

In Sample 4, students in the 1979 freshman

class and the 1981 freehman class had, respectively, 14 and
18 percentage point increases in the likelihood of dropping
out over etudents not retained.

The incremental increase

from 14 to 18 percent represents the effect of a stricter
eighth grade promotion policy intended to reduce the dropout rate by improving achievement. The model does not explain how grade retention increases
the likelihood that students will leave school.

Dropping out

is a complex process and grade retention contributes to this process in ways that still need to be clarified.

3

It is

clear, however, that repeating a grade contributes to this
process in a way...
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