Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


The purpose of this study was to examine parental reactions to authentic performance assessment of spelling.

The subjects for this study were seventy heterogeneously grouped third-grade students and their parents from a small, rural, public elementary school in western New York. Three standardized written retellings of stories were collected from· the seventy students over a period of three semesters and were analyzed for misspellings. The results were recorded on a developmental spelling progress chart (see Appendix A). Parents were asked to respond to a confidential and anonymous questionnaire regarding their reactions to the Stages of Spelling Development progress chart. Since many parents did not choose to make comments, a more in-depth interview was conducted with three parents of high, middle, and lower achieving children to further understand their reactions. Parental responses were then subjected to a qualitative analysis.

The majority of parents in this study had positive reactions to the developmental spelling chart as a means of communicating authentic performance of spelling. The majority (97%) reported that they could see their child's spelling growth over the last three semesters. The majority (91%) also reported that the developmental spelling chart helped them to understand their child's spelling progress compared to other children in the district. Some parents thought that the developmental spelling chart gave them more information regarding spelling achievement, while others preferred-numerical marks or a combination of the two.