Rural high school principals and the challenge of standards-based grading

The purpose of this study was to better understand how principals in rural schools are thinking about assessment and grading practices and if they anticipate implementing policy changes in the near future that may require increased support. Principals of schools in rural areas often face challenges that are significantly different from those of their urban and suburban counterparts. The researchers used a mixed-method survey to better understand if progressive grading policies were a part of the vision for principals of rural high schools, if they possessed conceptual underpinnings of such practices, and if they believed they had the capacity within their districts to lead teachers toward more effective grading policies. A high frequency of high school principals in rural schools said standards-based grading (SBG) was a part of their 5-year vision. These principals also showed relatively high mean scores of standards-based assessment literacy, and moderately high percentages believed they have the resources and capacity to support SBG. The researchers thus conclude that there is a high likelihood that many rural high schools will be implementing some form of SBG within the next 5 years.

This peer-reviewed article was published in the Spring 2020 issue of Theory and Practice in Rural Education

Buckmiller, T., Townsley, M., & Cooper, R. (2020). Rural high school principals and the challenge of standards-based grading.  Theory and Practice in Rural Education, 10(1), 92-102. [Available online]

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