Date of Award

8-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca

Second Supervisor

Cheryl McGruder Holloway

Abstract

Ninth grade achievement is pivotal for the success of a student to graduate and avoid dropping out of school. Students are transitioned as ninth graders into schools not of their choosing or assigned to neighborhood schools. While there is extensive research on ninth grade achievement, dropout risk factors and student motivation, there is a gap in the literature in how school selection plays a role in ninth grade academic achievement. The purpose of this study was to explore how choice, in the selection of schools, contributed to ninth grade academic achievement. This study investigated the relationship of choice and ninth grade success for students who chose their high school in an urban district in the Northeast region of the United States. Students’ grade point average, attendance and credits earned were compiled in an experimental study. The ANOVA analysis compared data of those students who received their first choice school assignment against those students who received their third choice school assignment and fifth through eight choice assignment. A major finding was that ninth graders who were placed in their first choice school had better attendance than other students in the other choice groups. After a student’s choice has been made there is a need to know how student outcomes are positively impacted by this choice. A school of choice process should be viewed as a comprehensive framework process which begins at the time of choice and concludes at the end of a student’s first year in the new placement.

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