Date of Award

Summer July 2013

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Shane P. Martin

Second Advisor

Karen K. Huchting

Third Advisor

Mary K. McCullough


This study examined the construct of teacher buy-in (TBI) during a grading policy reform effort in a high school. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe teachers’ perceived value to the grading reform. Additionally, the researcher studied teacher behavior by identifying the teachers’ actual practice of the policy. The study finally compared the identified reported values of the participants with their actual grading practices to determine the convergence of values and practice.

The research provided empirical evidence for a new way to study TBI and its relationship to a reform implementation. This study addressed a school-site policy reform effort and described TBI contributing to, and perhaps challenging, current practices in school reform and teacher grading policies. This study described the extent to which teacher bought into the grading policies and provided a framework for studying TBI and grading policies in the context of Standards-Based Reform in the future. The findings and discussion highlight how grading policies are a critical element of the student evaluation process in the increasing movement towards national learning standards and testing.