Date of Award



© 2017 Lisa Janosik

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Kimberly Roberts-Morandi

Third Advisor

Garth McKinney


Using archival data, this cross-sectional, descriptive study investigated the path of core course enrollment and completion of middle school students socially promoted from eighth grade to high school in a small, urban school district during 2008 to 2012. Supported by research surrounding the development of public education, the debate of retention versus social promotion, and adolescent development, this study delved into social promotion and whether it was an equitable and socially-just educational practice. Though this study quantitatively portrayed a positive outcome for students socially promoted from middle school, the data also showed that a majority of these students continued to perform academically low in high school. Identification of the inconsistencies of student grades led to a discussion of the equity of traditional grading practices and whether they were an accurate portrayal of the knowledge and skills students possessed. Additionally, the available data raised questions about class size and individual instruction impacting the academic performance of these students. Critical reviews of the current educational system along with the establishment of major change are suggested to promote positive adolescent relationships/school bonding, allow equitable assessment of the knowledge and skills of students, and provide individual instruction with smaller core class sizes to meet the academic and social needs of adolescents in a socially-just manner.


Ed.D. Dissertation