Education Drivers

Grades

Report cards have been a staple of the education system for over 100 years. Grades are employed as a high stakes method to determine advancement from one grade to the next and, along with standardized tests (e.g. SAT and ACT), the traditional basis for determining admissions into college. Aggregated grades are also commonly used as a way to measure the overall success of school systems. Despite the widespread use of grades, issues regarding the reliability and validity of grades exist. Concerns pertaining to differing standards used for assigning grades along with grading inflation bring into question the validity of grades as a high-stakes tool in education. Standardized tests are purported by the College Board and testing companies to be more rigorous, providing a more consistent and accurate measure of student skill acquisition and achievement. While improvements in how grades are assigned can and should be pursued, research finds high-school grade point average to be a consistent and reliable predictor of grades in the college freshman year, dropping out of college, and overall college performance.

Publications

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Seeking the Magic Metric: Using Evidence to Identify and Track School System Progress

This paper discusses the search for a “magic metric” in education: an index/number that would be generally accepted as the most efficient descriptor of school’s performance in a district.

Celio, M. B. (2013). Seeking the Magic Metric: Using Evidence to Identify and Track School System Quality. In Performance Feedback: Using Data to Improve Educator Performance (Vol. 3, pp. 97-118). Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute.

 

Presentations

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Seeking the Magic Metric: Using Evidence to Identify and Track School System Progress

This paper discusses the search for a “magic metric” in education: an index/number that would be generally accepted as the most efficient descriptor of school’s performance in a district.

Celio, MB. (2011). Seeking the Magic Metric: Using Evidence to Identify and Track School System Progress [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2011-wing-presentation-mary-beth-celio.

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
The effectiveness of the SAT in predicting success early and late in college: A meta-analysis

This meta-analysis examines issues of reliability and validity of SAT tests and student grades on student performance in college.

Hezlett, S., Kuncel, N., Vey, A., Ones, D., Campbell, J. & Camara, W. (2001). “The effectiveness of the SAT in predictive success early and late in college: A comprehensive meta-analysis.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Council of Measurement in Education, Seattle, WA.

Sent home and put off track. Closing the school discipline gap: Equitable remedies for excessive exclusion

This study examined students who were first time 9th graders in the 2000-01 school year and follows them through to high school and post-secondary outcomes. The 9th grade suspension data finds that black students, students who are economically disadvantaged, and special education students are disproportionately suspended, both in the frequency of suspensions and the duration of days lost. Disciplinary incidents were found to be interrelated with other of indicators of student disengagement from school, such as course failures and absenteeism

Balfanz, R., Byrnes, V., & Fox, J. H. (2015). Sent home and Put off track. Closing the school discipline gap: Equitable remedies for excessive exclusion, 17-30.

BURIED TREASURE: Developing a Management Guide From Mountains of School Data

This report provides a practical “management guide,” for an evidence-based key indicator data decision system for school districts and schools.

Celio, M. B., & Harvey, J. (2005). Buried Treasure: Developing A Management Guide From Mountains of School Data. Center on Reinventing Public Education.

Validity of High-School Grades in Predicting Student Success beyond the Freshman Year: High-School Record vs. Standardized Tests as Indicators of Four-Year College Outcomes

High-school grades are often viewed as an unreliable criterion for college admissions, owing to differences in grading standards across high schools, while standardized tests are seen as methodologically rigorous, providing a more uniform and valid yardstick for assessing student ability and achievement. The present study challenges that conventional view. The study finds that high-school grade point average (HSGPA) is consistently the best predictor not only of freshman grades in college, the outcome indicator most often employed in predictive-validity studies, but of four-year college outcomes as well.

Geiser, S., & Santelices, M. V. (2007). Validity of High-School Grades in Predicting Student Success beyond the Freshman Year: High-School Record vs. Standardized Tests as Indicators of Four-Year College Outcomes. Research & Occasional Paper Series: CSHE. 6.07. Center for studies in higher education.

Analysis of the predictive validity of the SAT and high school grades from 1976 to 1983

This study examines validity data for SAT scores and student grades enrolling classes of 1976 to 1985.

Morgan, R. (1989). “Analysis of the predictive validity of the SAT and high school grades from 1976 to 1983.” College Board Report No. 89-7. New York: College Board.

The path to dropping out: Evidence for intervention

In this research-based book, Roderick examines two critical factors impacting graduation or dropping out. They are school transition to middle school and from there to high school and, secondly, grade retention.

Roderick, M. R. (1993). The path to dropping out: Evidence for intervention. Auburn House.

Comparing Alternatives in the Prediction of College Success

This study investigates the prediction of college success as defined by a student’s college GPA. We predict college GPA mid-way through and at the end of their college careers using high school GPA (HSGPA), college entrance exam scores (SAT/ACT) and an open-ended, performance-based assessment of critical thinking and writing skills (CLA). 3,137 college sophomores and 1,330 college seniors participated in this study.

Zahner, D., Ramsaran, L. M., & Steedle, J. T. (2012). Comparing alternatives in the prediction of college success. In Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, Canada.

No items found.

Back to Top