Term of Award

Spring 1996

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

Stephen Jenkins

Committee Member 2

Robert A. Martin


Using a 1986 Georgia GBOE grading policy which set 70 as the lowest passing grade in all public school districts as a benchmark, this study sought to identify the variety of district grading scales in use in local systems during the 1995-96 school year and to determine the methods of cumulative grade averaging for transcript summary. A survey method collected information from representative district officials—predominantly assistant superintendents for instruction or curriculum coordinatorsconcerning local grading policies and procedures. In addition to information concerning grading scales and transcript summary methods, the twenty-two-item questionnaire elicited responses regarding local satisfaction with current policy, major influences on policy decisions, importance of grade functions, grading issues causing dissension, local method for determining HOPE scholarship eligibility, and strength of opinion in favor of a statewide grading scale.

The study identified 18 varieties of grading scales in use in the 172 Georgia districts operating high schools in 1995-96. The predominant scale, used in 64.5 per cent of the districts, was a broad A, B, C scale which had eliminated the grade of D.

The most troubling local issues were related to student recognition- Valedictorian, Salutatorian, honor graduates. The most important function of grading was communicating with parents about student progress. Long-standing tradition had the strongest influence on grading policy decisions. Seventy-seven per cent of the respondents reported using 80 as an eligibility criterion for the HOPE Grant; sixty-five per cent indicated that they would support the institution of a statewide grading scale.


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