The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Kay Worner

Second Advisor

Roger Worner

Third Advisor

Plamen Miltenoff

Fourth Advisor

John Eller

Creative Commons License

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

Keywords and Subject Headings

Standards-Based Grading Secondary Schools


According to Guskey and Bailey (2010), the first release of educational standards occurred in 1989 from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (p. 14). Subsequent to the focus on educational standards, educational researchers published foundational recommendations and guidelines to support the implementation and use of standards-based grading (Heflebower, Hoegh, & Warrick, 2014; Guskey, 2009a; Guskey & Bailey, 2010; Marzano, 2010; Marzano & Kendall, 1996a; Nagel, 2015; O’Connor, 2009). However, limited research was found indicating barriers to the implementation or successful use of standards-based grading in Minnesota secondary schools (grades 7-12).

The purpose of the study was to examine the reported level of implementation of standards-based grading in select Minnesota secondary schools (grades 7-12) and the benefits and barriers to implementation. The researcher surveyed Minnesota public school principals who served secondary schools.

The mixed-methods study examined select Minnesota secondary schools’ (including grades 7-12) implementation of standards-based grading, those strategies that caused implementation to be successful, and principals’ perceived benefits of standards-based grading implementation. In addition, the study examined Minnesota secondary school principals’ perceptions of barriers to implementation of standards-based grading for secondary schools.

The study’s findings indicated a lack of implementation of standards-based grading in the participants’ secondary schools. Only 9.7% of the participants indicated standards-based grading implementation had taken place or a formal process to implementation has been initiated. Yet, the study revealed the participants perceived standards-based grading as beneficial. However, the participants indicated agreement in a number of barriers to implementation of standards-based grading in secondary schools.



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