Date of Award

Summer 7-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Phillip Guy

Third Advisor

Dr. Don Forrest

Abstract

This study was designed to examine the ability of traditional and standards-based grading practices to predict student performance on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) Grade-Level Assessments at the middle school level. This study also explored the perceptions Missouri middle school teachers and administrators had concerning the use of standards-based grading and identified obstacles educators faced during and after its implementation. The research was conducted in phases to observe two sets of data. Phase One involved the collection and analysis of quantitative data from two schools in Missouri that use standards-based grading in the seventh and eighth grades and two schools in Missouri that utilize a traditional method of grading. Data consisted of semester grades and subsequent MAP achievement levels for each student in math and English language arts in the seventh and eighth grades. Student data were analyzed using the chi-square goodness-of-fit test to determine if a statistical difference existed between the ability of standards-based and traditional grading systems to predict MAP achievement. Phase Two included the collection and analysis of qualitative data which consisted of teacher and administrator responses to open-ended interview questions. Phase One data showed no ability of either standards-based or traditional grading to accurately predict subsequent MAP achievement levels. Phase Two data revealed that while the majority of respondents believed standards-based grading was a more accurate measure of student knowledge, teachers harbored negative feelings concerning this grading system, and administrators failed to provide adequate initial and ongoing professional development.

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