Matt Townsley

Matt Townsley, EdD, is an assistant professor of educational leadership at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He is a former district administrator and teacher in Solon Community Schools, also in Iowa, where he led curriculum, assessment, and school-improvement initiatives, all under the umbrella of a professional learning community philosophy. Solon Community Schools was named a district of distinction in 2015 by District Administration magazine, and multiple schools in the district were recognized by Solution Tree as model professional learning communities during his tenure. Dr. Townsley has consulted with thousands of teachers and administrators across the country on the topics of assessment and standards-based grading.

In 2017, Dr. Townsley was named Iowa’s Central Office Administrator of the Year, and in 2014, he was recognized as an ASCD Emerging Leader. His writing has been published in journals such as Educational Leadership, School Administrator, NASSP Bulletin, The Journal of School Administration Research and Development and American Secondary Education. He is coauthor of Making Grades Matter, a practical guide to help professional learning communities implement a standards-based grading system at the secondary education level.

Dr. Townsley received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Wartburg College, a master’s degree in curriculum and instructional technology from Iowa State University, an advanced studies certificate in educational leadership from the University of Northern Iowa, and a doctorate in school improvement from the University of West Georgia.

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  1. Making Grades Matter: Standards-Based Grading in a Secondary PLC at Work

    In Making grades matter: Standards-based grading in a secondary PLC at Work®, authors Matt Townsley and Nathan L Wear offer a road map for implementing standards-based grading in professional learning community (PLC). They provide all the actionable ideas and tools that collaborative teams need to transition to this effective, research-backed grading system and ensure gradebooks have clarity and purpose. With the support of this practical guide, secondary educators will maximise student learning outcomes, thereby achieving unprecedented success.

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