Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Deirdre Cobb-Roberts, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Rebecca Burns, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lauren Braunstein, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Jacobs, Ph.D.


high stakes assessment, proficiency, reading FSA, social promotion


There has been a constant argument that if students cannot read by third grad, then they will have an uphill struggle for the rest of their educational journey. Researchers have provided evidence signaling some truth to this claim and efforts have been established to ensure that all students receive high-quality instruction (Tweed, 2001). Many states have struggled with policies on how to correct this problem, and they have been challenged to answer whether students who cannot read proficiently by the third grade should be promoted, or if they should be pertained and provided with intensive interventions before moving on to the next grade level. Unfortunately, many policies that have been implemented favorably responded yes to the second question and so retention remains dominant even though research has proven time and time again that it is not effective (Greene &Winters, 2006). Thus, from a student’s perspective, it is essential to understand the implications are of such policies. This qualitative multiple case study aims to elevate students’ voices and perspective by addressing the question: How do Black and Hispanic males who are retained make meaning of their lived experience about retention.