School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Kenneth D Gossett

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Elementary; Education, Tests and Measurements; Education, Curriculum and Instruction


Assessment, High-stakes testing, Standards-based grading, standards-based instruction


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research


This quantitative study examines whether standards-based grade reporting accurately informs student academic achievement on standardized criterion-referenced tests for all students. The participants for this study were all fifth graders enrolled in eight elementary schools in a rural system in north Georgia from 2009-2010. Approximately 550 students' standards-based report cards (SBRC) and Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) provide the data to determine whether grades on standards-based report cards provide accurate information for all students, regardless of gender, ELL status, or socioeconomic status by comparing mean scores on Georgia's CRCT in the areas of math and reading, based on SBRC indicators. The findings of this study provide strong implications for school systems considering a standards-based grading reporting system in response to the recent movement towards standards-based curriculums. The results show alignment between indicators on standards-based assessment and scores on criterion-referenced standardized tests, used as an indicator for AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), adding to the body of research on the effectiveness of standards-based grading in showing student mastery of curriculum standards. For math, even with the same SBRC score, students who are on the free/reduced lunch program tend to score lower than students who are not. For reading, even with the same SBRC score, females tend to score higher than males, those with limited English proficiency tend to score lower than those who are proficient, and those who are on the free/reduced lunch program tend to score lower than those who pay for lunch. The study provides evidence to suggest that standards-based grade reporting provides accurate information regarding student learning that can be used as a measure of student achievement.