The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper

Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction: M.S.


Teacher Development


School of Education

First Advisor

Hsueh-I Lo

Second Advisor

Ramon Serrano

Third Advisor

Sue Haller

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Research Question

In high school mathematics do standards-based grading scores show more validity/ correlation to standardized test scores than traditional grading scores?

Focus of the Paper

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of standards-based grading and math achievement on standardized tests and the effectiveness of traditional grading and math achievement on standardized tests. I have used the EBSCO host resources, using the academic search premier’s databases to search for my information. In my search for articles, I used the following words or phases: “standards-based grading,” “grades,” “math achievement,” “Common Core,” “No Child Left Behind (NCLB),” “grade inflation,” “formative assessment,” “summative assessment,” “rubrics,” “feedback,” and “homework.. I also searched for the following authors: “Gusky,” “Hattie,” “Marzano,” and “Wormelli.” When choosing my resources, I read through my articles and made sure they correlated with my topic. There were a lot of limitations that came up in my study. Standards-based grading is a newer method that currently has not been overly studying in research based journals. Most of the articles I have used in this paper are quite recent and very few of them were actually using their own action research or findings.


The significance of this study was to find ways to improve student achievement in math. Educators who have or are thinking about switching to standards-based grading can benefit from the results of this research. If standards-based grading has more of an impact or correlation to standardized test results, more teachers should or would make the switch to give their students the best chance of success. If traditional grading has more of an impact or correlation to standardized test results, more teachers should continue doing what they are using or switch back to a traditional grade book to give their students the best chance for success. In the current age of standardized testing and its impact on schools, all teachers want to be able to accurately give students, parents, and administration the understanding of what grades mean and what will best predict student achievement on standardized tests.



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