Elementary Teachers' Grading Practices: Does the Reality Reflect the Rubric?
Shanahan, Katherine Bruckman
Gottfredson, Gary D
MetadataShow full item record
Report cards are the primary way that teachers, students, and parents communicate about student achievement in the classroom. Although many school districts develop rubrics to guide teacher grading practices, most research finds that in reality, grades represent a hodgepodge of factors that vary across teachers and across school systems. The current study investigates student factors that explain variance in elementary report card grades in a suburban school district. The sample includes 4th and 5th grade students (N = 8,555) and their classroom teachers (N = 374) from 45 schools. Multilevel structural equation models, with students nested within classrooms, tested two models describing variance in report card grades. One model included the factors listed on the school system grading rubric along with additional factors thought to be related to grades (non-rubric model). An alternative, nested, model included only the factors from the grading rubric (rubric model). Results suggested that the non-rubric model provided a better fit for the data, but effects for the additional non-rubric factors were uniformly small.