School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


David Nelson


grading, grading scale, assessment, 50 percent minimum grading, assessment


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research


This causal-comparative quantitative research study aims to determine whether mandating a 50% minimum grade significantly increases student achievement. The setting for this study was one suburban Pennsylvanian high school of approximately 1,250 students. The educational process involves three integrated components: curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Evaluating methods in which schools assign grades is an inherent part of every school assessment system. The Treedale School District and Pennsylvania Department of Education collected data, which the researcher analyzed by performing multiple Mann-Whitney U tests between pre-policy 0%-100% and post policy 50%-100% grade scale groups. The independent variable is grading scale and the dependent variables used to measure student achievement are final course grade, Keystone Algebra Exam score, Keystone Biology Exam score, and Keystone Literature Exam score. Data were examined from two periods: before and after the school-wide implementation of a 50% minimum grade policy. Data analysis using Mann-Whitney U tests compared distributions of dependent variables. Results showed significant differences between pre-policy and post policy groups for three out of four dependent variables, though the directions of the differences were not all the same. Final course grade, Keystone Biology Exam score, and Keystone Literature score distributions all exhibited statistically significant increases after implementing a 50% minimum grade. Keystone Algebra Exam score distribution displayed a decrease, though the change was not statistically significant.