Date of Award

Fall 12-2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Bice

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan K. Isenberg

Third Advisor

Dr. Cindy Vitale


American education has made many attempts to reform its structure during the last several decades. Many of these reform efforts have been prompted by global events that implied American education as inferior to other nations’ educational systems. The 2001 No Child Left Behind Act required schools to examine their curriculum, instructional practices, and assessments. The problem was a concern regarding inconsistencies between classroom grades and student achievement (Missouri Assessment Program scores). Therefore classroom grades may be misrepresenting student achievement to colleges, military, or corporations recruiting high school graduates. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between student classroom grades and student achievement levels earned through the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP). Classroom grades are symbols and have been used to serve many administrative purposes as well as for feedback on student achievement, instruments for instructional planning, and motivation to achieve more. The elements that comprise the classroom grade were found to include summative and formative assessments, homework, many optional task, as well as grades assigned to non-academic acts such as attendance, behavior, effort and participation. Eleventh grade Communication Arts data from the study high school were analyzed. A correlation analysis and a chi-square test were conducted using classroom grades and MAP scores. The results from both of these instruments were conflicting. The analysis indicated that there was no significance correlation between the classroom grade and achievement on the MAP test, while the chi-square test indicated there was a significant relationship. Due to the conflicting results, a further study needs to be conducted using a larger sample size. Based on the findings of this study, Americans should further examine the classroom grade as a predictor of student success. If the classroom grade continues to be the reporting instrument for student achievement to the public, then the classroom grade should reflect an accurate picture of achievement. A recommendation for future research is to replicate this study in schools that have increased diversity and lower socioeconomic status.


Copyright 2009