A CASE STUDY OF DELAYING SCHOOL ENTRY ON THE EFFECTS OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT IN MATHEMATICS IN SEVENTH GRADE
McDaniel, Tracy 1974-
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The concept known as “red-shirting” in sports to provide an athletic advantage by delaying a child’s entry into sports is also prevalent among parents who perceive an academic advantage for delaying their children’s school entry. Interest exits among parents, teachers, administrators and medical professionals regarding the potential academic benefits and drawbacks of delaying kindergarten entrance for one additional year, even if students meet the state entrance requirement. The parents who wait to send their children to kindergarten normally cite one or two reasons for keeping their child back a year – either the child’s birthday occurs late in the year (July through December), making him or her younger than peers, or the child has exhibited less mature behavior (academic or social) than others of the equivalent age (Frey, 2005). This study examined if it is academically advantageous for students to be older than their peers in the seventh grade and if that advantage changes with a student’s gender or parents’ socioeconomic status. The study used the April 2011 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) mathematics vertical scale scores as they relate to students’ chronological ages of approximately 1,300 students in seven middle schools in a northwest district of Houston, Texas. The students were broken into six cohort groups based on the date of their birth and the state of Texas’s public school enrollment of September first. Archival data was gathered from the TAKS data files to conduct a descriptive statistics study and ANOVA tests to answer the following research questions: Is it academically advantageous to be older than your peers in the grade 7 cohort as indicated by the mathematics achievement scores in the state of Texas’s TAKS tests? The results of this study displayed students with delayed entry perform similar to retained students than the traditional cohort or accelerated students. Does an advantage in chronological age at grade 7 differ in males and females? The study found gender does play a role in how the student will perform later in life. Delayed entry males tend to perform similarly to males in the traditional cohort, whereas females perform similarly to retained female students. Are there differences by socioeconomic status in relation to chronological age? The study found that delayed entry students on a free lunch plan perform similarly to students who have been retained. Through this study the researcher will add to the body of knowledge that exists regarding how a student’s chronological age affects their achievement in mathematics. Frey, N. (2005). Retention, social promotion, and academic redshirting: What do we know and need to know. Remedial & Special Education, 26(6), 332-346.