Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Pauline Stonehouse


More and more elementary schools are adopting standards-based report cards to report student achievement in an effort to communicate to parents their child’s mastery of standards at each grade level. The effect this has on parent understanding of their child’s achievement is still uncertain. A survey methodology was used in this quantitative study to examine parents’ understanding of their K-6 child’s mathematics performance when reported using standards-based compared to traditional report cards. The researcher sought to determine the effect understanding has on parents’ probability of providing at-home skill building activities in the areas in which the child is not performing at grade-level. Parents in the upper Midwest region of the United States in two participating elementary schools (one utilizing traditional report cards and the other utilizing standards-based report cards) participated in a survey during 2015-2016 parent-teacher conferences. Results indicated that standards-based report cards more accurately communicate to parents their students’ mathematics performance compared to traditional report cards. Additionally, findings showed that as parent understanding increases, so does the probability that parents will provide at-home skill-building activities to their child. The child’s grade level was found to significantly contribute to a parent’s probability to provide at-home math activities. Results indicated that an increase in grade (age) is associated with a decrease in providing at-home math activities to the child. Final recommendations to schools include initiating or continuing work in developing

and implementing standards-based report cards as well as providing parent training for interpreting new report cards. Recommendations for further research are also presented.