Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante (CRIFPE)

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Gershenson, S. (2020). Great Expectations. The Impact of Rigorous Grading Practices on Student Achievement. Columbus, Ohio, USA : Thomas B. Fordham Institute.


Dr. Gershenson’s existing work on teacher expectations, as well as his prior study for us on grade inflation in high school, made him an ideal partner to tackle this neglected area of research. Like him, we were interested in whether a teacher’s approach to grading students’ work affected their outcomes in the short and long terms, and whether those standards differed by teacher, student, and school characteristics. Specifically, Gershenson investigated the following questions: • How do the grading standards of an Algebra I teacher affect students’ content mastery, as measured by their performance on the end-of-course exam (a short-term outcome)? • Do the grading standards of an Algebra I teacher impact students’ performance in subsequent math courses like geometry and Algebra II and their likelihood of graduating from high school (longer-term outcomes)? • Does the impact of an Algebra I teacher’s grading standards vary by pupil, school, or teacher characteristics? And what school and teacher characteristics predict teachers’ grading standards? His data come from the grading standards of eighth and ninth grade Algebra I math teachers in North Carolina public schools. Algebra I is ideal for this purpose, as it was a state graduation requirement for the eleven-year period that the study covers (2006–2016), and it also had an end-of-course (EOC) test in those years. Having both course grades and EOC scores allowed Gershenson to define teachers’ grading standards in a straightforward manner: Teachers who inflate grades—meaning they assigngood grades to students who perform relatively poorly on the EOC–exhibit low standards, while teachers who assign lower grades than we might expect given students’ scores exhibit high standards. Gershenson compared students of teachers with higher grading standards to their peers who have teachers with lower grading standards but still take the same course (Algebra I), in the same school, in the same grade, in the same year.


Logos des universités associées au CRIFPE

Adresse civique

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
90, avenue Vincent d'Indy
Pavillon Marie-Victorin – C-536
Outremont (Québec) H2V 2S9

Adresse postale

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
CRIFPE – C-543
C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) H3C 3J7