Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Georgia school districts have been concerned with the social and academic outcomes of looping middle school students. School district administrators need research-based findings to determine the effectiveness of middle school looping programs which place middle school students and teacher(s) together for 2 or more consecutive years. The purpose of this quantitative study was to analyze standardized testing data and perceptions of 240 middle school students. This study was grounded in the social development theory as it pertains to the academic and social outcomes of adolescent middle school students. The research questions for this study focused on social experiences, conduct, and achievement on standardized tests of looping and nonlooping middle school students. Self-report data were collected through a researcher-designed survey containing Likert-type scale response items. Self-report data, Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT) and Georgia 8th Grade Writing Assessment scores were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square testing, mean comparisons, and the ANOVA one-way test for variance. The findings indicated (a) that looping has a positive impact on the social experiences perceived by middle school students, but (b) has no measurable impact on student conduct, and (c) a positive correlation between reading, writing, and math achievement on standardized tests and the degree of looping participation. The implementation of the looping design in American middle schools will provide positive social change by increasing academic achievement and positively influencing the social well-being of middle school students. School reform advocates must focus their efforts on promoting the looping design, and school leaders must break away from the traditional middle school concept and select a more appropriate design to better meet the needs of adolescent learners.