Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Karen Tardrew


The purpose of this qualitative study was to evaluate the perceptions of a group of middle school teachers regarding changing to standards-based grading (SBG). Data were collected from the transcripts of two different focus groups and analyzed. Study results indicated that SBG measures were not well known by all staff, and many clear resistance points were present. Resistance points centered around five key themes: fear of loss of rigor, community pushback, lack of SBG practices knowledge, lack of supporting infrastructure, and extra time and work required. Recommendations that flow from these results are that, prior to implementing SBG, comprehensive data be collected regarding staff beliefs about grading and reporting in general, and that targeted, differentiated professional development be planned for staff based upon the results of the data collected. Continuing to expand SBG practices within schools is the ultimate goal due to the large body of research espousing its benefits.