Journal of Educational Leadership in Action


The purpose of this study was to explain the experiences of high school teachers and administrators in the midst of transitioning to standards-based grading practices. The researchers used a single case study methodology to investigate how teachers and administrators described their school’s implementation successes and challenges. Data triangulation occurred through analyzing semi-structured interviews, meeting agendas, handbooks, and relevant documents provided by study participants. Using Kotter’s eight steps for leading organizational change as a framework, we recommend school leaders blow off the cobwebs and get started, understand staff needs and provide teacher support, and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.


Dr. Matt Townsley is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies, College of Education, at University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA. His research interests include educational leadership, school improvement, and standards-based grading.

Dr. Megan Knight is an adjunct instructor in the School of Education at Upper Iowa University and a secondary instructional coach for North Scott Community School District. She has been teaching for 12 years and has previously published and presented on the topic of standards-based grading

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.