Date of Award

Spring 3-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Third Advisor

Dr. Patricia Conner


Assessing student learning has been part of education since the beginning of formalized schooling. Developments at the national, state, and local level have led to grading reforms over the past quarter century. The purpose of this study was to explore students’ and teachers’ perceptions of standards-based grading to determine if there was a significant difference on standardized tests scores between students graded using standards-based grading and students graded using traditional grading. Teachers and students from one Missouri high school were interviewed to determine their perceptions about standards-based grading. A stratified sample was utilized to select interviewees. Artifacts from the district were analyzed to determine the process in the implementation of standards-based grading. Quantitative data were obtained from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to compare the Missouri Assessment Performance (MAP) Index scores and means on end-of-course exams from the participating high school with Missouri students. A t-test was utilized to determine the difference between the two means. The data revealed teachers’ perceptions of standards-based grading were varied, with only two teachers who preferred standards based grading. Student perceptions were more positive than those of teachers, with 50% of students who were interviewed preferring standards-based grading. Quantitative data revealed no statistically significant difference between the means on end-of-course exams of students assessed with standards-based grading and students assessed with traditional grading in five of the eight subject areas studied.


Copyright 2015