Date of Award

Fall 10-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Vicki Schmitt

Third Advisor

Dr. Doug Hayter

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze the factors influencing middle school grading reform. The study involved all stakeholders in one middle school community. Participants were surveyed to determine which standards-based grading practices were most welcomed among middle school students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Additionally, students’ perceived motivation levels when evaluated using standards based grading practices were quantified and the necessary support needs of middle school teachers were identified as they attempted school-wide grading reform. Many are calling for school leaders to evaluate unreliable traditional grading methods and reform grading to a standards-based approach (Guskey, Swan, & Jung, 2011; Wormeli, 2013). For this reason, the survey items used in the study were based on the positive and negative outcomes of standards-based grading found in current research. The sample groups for the study included 137 middle school students, 148 parents, 25 teachers, and three administrators. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results of Likert-style survey items and open-ended questions. Findings indicated the most accepted grading changes among all stakeholders included allowing students multiple attempts to show the learning of a concept and providing for awareness and understanding of learning objectives. The teacher survey results revealed necessary support needs when attempting grading reform include the following: making grading decisions together as a faculty, communicating grading changes with parents, and allowing for time to implement grading changes correctly

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