This study contributed information for consideration as school districts determine grade span configuration as part of school design. The problem addressed was the extent to which student achievement may be impacted by the transition from one school to another from fifth to sixth grade in Florida public schools in order to provide data to school policy makers and school district administrators and add to the body of knowledge on the grade level configuration that contributed the most to student achievement in sixth grade. This was a causal-comparative study using quantitative data to analyze student scores at the school level for reading and mathematics on the 2014 Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT) 2.0 assessment to explore the difference in achievement for sixth grade students with no school transition compared to those who had school transitions during middle school. A multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used to examine if a difference existed in the dependent variables of sixth-grade reading and mathematics achievement as measured by school mean developmental scale scores and the school percentage of students making learning gains on the FCAT 2.0 between schools with sixth grade as the transition year and without sixth grade as the transition year. The analyses were controlled for the covariates of the school percentages of socio-economic status as determined by free and reduced lunch rate, English Learner status, and exceptional student education status. Findings signified that schools with no school transition between fifth and sixth grade in Florida public schools had higher sixth-grade mean scores in reading and mathematics as measured by school mean developmental scale scores and in reading as measured by the percentage of school learning gains. This study offers insight into what grade configuration is more likely to positively impact student achievement during the middle grades and supports students remaining in an elementary setting with fewer transitions during the middle grades to most benefit reading and mathematics achievement. Findings are useful to school boards, superintendents, and school district administrators interested in educational policy development and research on transition especially when restructuring school grade configurations and building new school sites.


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Graduation Date





Taylor, Rosemarye


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Educational and Human Sciences

Degree Program

Educational Leadership









Release Date


Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)