Thesis

The impact of conditional promotion on Hispanic male students: a case study

The Impact of Conditional Promotion on Hispanic Males There are several philosophical arguments for and against social promotion or grade level retention. The practical results of such arguments in the administration of school are wide-reaching, and powerful. This makes studies, and the usual application of the scientific method, very difficult. The variables related to the scope of one's test group, whether the group is students in a class, a particular school, a district, a neighborhood, municipality, or even broader to include the state or nation. The various subject material also may have an effect of such a study, whether it is mathematics, literature, science, etc. And of course, the students themselves come to education with unique ethnicities, languages, cultures, to say nothing of the other factors such as family cohesiveness, number of siblings, work history of adults in the household, etc. For the purposes of this thesis, the researcher focused the scope of this study to a special school, located in a homogenous community populated predominately by first-and second-generation Hispanics, whose native country is primarily the Republic of Mexico. The primary domestic language in this target community is - 11 - Spanish. This researcher focused the study on that group which constituted the single largest student population in that school, as characterized by a common ethnicity, language, gender and education history. This special school is itself an experiment, a compromise in practical terms between those believe in promoting students from eighth grade to comprehensive high schools to preserve their social network, and those who believe in retaining students in eighth grade who are unprepared for high school. The data for the study were collected through individual interviews and objective assessments of academic progress (performance on standardized tests and grade point averaging). There were no control groups, since the focus of the study sought to provide validation and commentary on the pedagogical assumptions of this compromise between advocates of social promotion or retention. This study is the product of six-months of research, very limited in scope, but based on indepth in interviews and scholastic assessment. Its results were ambiguous. The impact of conditionally promoting Hispanic males appears to be generally favorable, but more research is needed to generalize to other settings.

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