Date of Award

Spring 4-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Julie Williams

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore


The transition process from elementary school to middle school has created numerous obstacles for all stakeholders. Early adolescents encounter emotional and physiological challenges as their bodies mature (Lester, Waters, & Cross, 2013). These challenges have a major impact on the academic achievement of the students (Musoleno & White, 2010). There is a direct connection between a student’s successes in middle school and how well the student will do in high school, making the transition process even more important (Andrews & Bishop, 2012). The purpose of this study was to identify predictors which could aid in easing the transition into middle school in order to improve student achievement. Data from the study were examined to evaluate if variance in curriculum, grading practices, and academic programs from Elementary School A, Elementary School B, and Middle School C had an effect on MAP Grade-Level Assessment performance and middle school readiness. The project also involved analysis of what impact other predictors such as student poverty, teacher-assigned grades, and student attendance had on student achievement during the transition process. This causal-comparative study was conducted to analyze the amount of discrepancy between variables of the study and MAP scores. The qualitative results of this study revealed some extreme differences in the percentages of students who raised MAP achievement levels when entering Middle School C from different elementary schools. This could be caused by the differences in curriculum and educational practices among the three schools. The statistical data revealed the other predictors in the study had an impact on student achievement.


Copyright 2015