student placement procedures, equity, achievement, multi-tiered systems of support, general systems theory, elementary


The annual assignment of elementary students from one classroom to the next is a ubiquitous cycle in schools. Since student class assignment has an effect on students’ educational trajectory, understanding how placement procedures impact student equity is an important area of research with benefits for all stakeholders. In this action research project, survey data was collected to examine what student data points teachers found most meaningful as well as what elements participants considered the most effective and the least beneficial components of the previous piloted placement procedures at a central California elementary school. The findings of this research demonstrated that respondents valued intervention data, such as English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) levels or special education (SPED) status, English Language Arts (ELA)/Math achievement data, and behavior data. However, they also expressed hesitancy over certain narrative or subjective information. Respondents also reported that, while multi-grade level cooperation was a valuable component of the placement process, the procedures needed to be more clearly systematized. Findings suggest that by linking placement procedures to existing Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) structures, the placement process can more effectively address issues of student equity and achievement.

Keywords: Student placement procedures, equity, achievement, multi-tiered systems of support, general systems theory.


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