Date of Award

Summer 7-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. John D. Long

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Winslow

Third Advisor

Dr. James Allison

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a correlation between the implementation of standards-based grading (SBG) and a rise in student achievement as indicated by the evaluation of end-of-course exam data from the four core subject areas in secondary schools - English, Algebra, Government, and Biology. This mixed methods study focused on the collected data of 6,000 test scores, split evenly from tests taken prior to the launch of SBG and after the launch of SBG, as well as focusing on varying perceptions of SBG from both teachers and members of the community as a whole. Quantitative data consisted of test scores aggregated by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MODESE) and distributed to school districts. Qualitative data were secondary in nature and taken from two separate surveys administered by the Cooperating School District to teachers and parents concerning how they felt about the implementation of SBG. These data were aggregated and analyzed by using coding techniques for qualitative data to determine the study outcomes. The quantitative data indicated that there was no statistically significant increase in test scores over the five years researched for this study. The qualitative data indicated that perceptions of SBG were frequently negative in nature, although there were varying degrees of negativity. This result came from both the teacher and parent responses. According to these qualitative data, parents and teachers alike viewed SBG as diminishing the foundation of the education the students were receiving, while at the same time inadequately preparing them for the post-secondary world in that too many chances were given for them to succeed under SBG.

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