Mark PottsFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Michelle J Barthlow


High Stakes Testing, Reliability, Standardized Tests, Teacher-Assigned Grades, Validity


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Other Education


For over a century, teacher-assigned grades have been criticized and maligned as a subjective hodgepodge of academic and non-academic factors that varied from teacher to teacher and generally failed to communicate student academic achievement. Standardized tests focused more objectively on student achievement rather than leveling the playing field by eliminating the subjectivity it seems to have tilted it in favor of white middle-class students. The purpose of this correlational study was to better understand the relationship between standardized tests and teacher assigned grades. This study examined the Ohio End-of-Course exams for 8th grade Science and the teacher assigned final grades for the same sample of students using scores and grades from the 2014-15 school year. The participants in the study were drawn from an accessible sample consisting of 2077 eighth grade students from Northeast Ohio. A bivariate correlation tested the overall strength of the relationship, while Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient analyses determined if the strength of the correlation for students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students varied. The correlation coefficients for all for groups were positive correlations. The strongest correlations were for the students without disabilities (.537) and the all students group (.536), while students from a low socio-economic background correlated medium strength (.463) and the weakest group was the Students with Disabilities (.248). These results generally fall in line with the literature and call for further research studies in how to better engage and educate students with disabilities and students from low socio-economic backgrounds.