State re­leases Stu­dent Growth Model

Pub­lic can vis­ually explore progress in depth through on­line tool

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­news.com

For those par­ents, stu­dents and teach­ers who want to see a dif­fer­ent form of ex­pla­na­tion re­gard­ing stu­dents’ test scores and what they mean, other than lists of num­bers through­out the years, they may want to check out a new tool.

The Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion (GA­DOE) re­leased the Ge­or­gia Stu­dent Growth model, (GSGM), a met­ric for par­ents and ed­u­ca­tors to bet­ter un­der­stand and an­a­lyze the progress stu­dents make from year to year. A web tool was re­leased in con­junc­tion with the data to pro­vide a vi­su­al­iza­tion of stu­dent growth.

The web tool al­lows the pub­lic to drill down into stu­dent growth data by district, grade level, stu­dent group, test­ing sys­tem, eth­nic­ity/race and sub­ject ar­eas. Par­ents will also re­ceive in­di­vid­ual stu­dent growth re­ports for each child. To pro­tect stu­dent pri­vacy, they will not have ac­cess to in­di­vid­ual data of other stu­dents – only ag­gre- gate data, ac­cord­ing to the New­ton County School Sys­tem (NCSS) and GA­DOE.

“The (GSGM) is an ini­tia­tive that will give stu­dents, their teach­ers, their par­ents and the pub­lic a more com­plete and com­pre­hen­sive pic­ture of in­di­vid­ual growth,” said State Su­per­in­ten­dent John Barge. “In turn, teach­ers will be equipped to pro­vide more com­plete and in­di­vid­u­al­ized in­struc­tion, and par­ents will be bet­ter pre­pared to help their stu­dents im­prove ar­eas of weak­ness. As a re­sult, learn­ing in our pub­lic schools should im­prove.”

Data is based on CRCT and EOCT scores from the 2012-2013 school year, so stu­dents re­flect­ing each grade are now two grades higher. Ac­cord­ing to GA­DOE, 2013-2014 data is ex­pected in late fall.

His­tor­i­cally, Ge­or­gia’s as­sess­ment sys­tem only gave an­swers to ques­tions like, “What per­cent­age of stu­dent met the state stan­dard?” or, “Did more stu­dents meet the state stan­dard this year com­pared to last

year?” ac­cord­ing to GA­DOE.

With the GSGM, stake­hold­ers can take a deeper look at stu­dent growth by school and school district, ask­ing ques­tions like, “Did stu­dents in this school grow more or less than aca­dem­i­cally sim­i­lar stu­dents across the state?” or, “Are stu­dents grow­ing as much in math as in read­ing?”

The GSGM will also be used in the Col­lege and Ca­reer Ready Per­for­mance In­dex for the Progress de­ter­mi­na­tion and as one of mul­ti­ple in­di­ca­tors of ed­u­ca­tor ef­fec­tive­ness in the Teacher Keys Ef­fec­tive­ness Sys­tem and Leader Keys Ef­fec­tive­ness Sys­tem.

“Our growth data re­flects that our ef­forts to en­sure stu­dents are mak­ing progress in the core ar­eas are in­deed work­ing,” said NCSS Su­per­in­ten­dent Sa­man­tha Fuhrey. “The stu­dent growth re­sults are a tes­ta­ment to the fo­cus of our teach­ers, lead­ers and staff as well as the im­pact of their work on stu­dents’ learn­ing. The main thing to take away from this ‘new look’ at the data is that our stu­dents con­tinue to show aca­demic growth and progress.”

NCSS ele­men­tary and mid­dle schools

Stu­dent Growth Per­centile (SGP) data in­di­cates the amount of growth a stu­dent has demon­strated rel­a­tive to aca­dem­i­cally sim­i­lar stu­dents from across the state, with growth per­centiles rang­ing from 1 to 99. All stu­dents, re­gard­less of achieve­ment level, have the op­por­tu­nity to demon­strate all lev­els of growth.

When re­view­ing data, stu­dent growth num­bers of 1-34 rep­re­sent low growth, 35-65 rep­re­sent typ­i­cal growth and 66-99 in­di­cate high growth.

The first line for each sub­ject on the district CRCT data rep­re­sents the per­cent of stu­dents that met or ex­ceeded state stan­dards, next to state scores for com­par­i­son. The sec­ond line for each sub­ject in­di­cates the per­cent of those stu­dents who showed typ­i­cal or high growth over the pre­vi­ous year’s scores.

While eighth graders passed their read­ing CRCT at a higher per­cent­age than any other grade or sub­ject in the county (98 per­cent), the high­est growth per­centiles were marked in seventh- and eighth-grade science (76 per­cent).

When look­ing on the other end of the spec­trum, SGP data in­di­cate the low­est pass­ing per­cent­age on CRCTs was in sixth-grade science (73 per­cent), while the low­est growth per­centile was found in seventh-grade math.

Seventh and eighth grades showed typ­i­cal or high growth per­centiles at a higher rate than the state in all sub­ject ar­eas ex­cept math, and ev­ery grade out­paced the state in terms of growth on the science CRCT be­tween 2-10 per­cent­age points.

Math con­tin­ues to be stu­dents’ weak point, as NCSS stu­dents scored lower or even with on both pass rates and growth per­centiles than the state in ev­ery grade.

NCSS high schools

SGPS also looked at growth in high school stu­dents on EOCT tests.

The high­est pass per­cent­age in the county was on both the 9th grade lit­er­a­ture and com­po­si­tion and eco­nom­ics EOCTs (89 per­cent), both of which passed the state on pass rates and growth per­centiles. Eco­nom­ics and U.S. his­tory scores showed the most stu­dent growth (76 per­cent), also pass­ing the state.

The low­est scores came from the co­or­di­nate al­ge­bra pass rate (21 per­cent) and the 56 per­cent of those stu­dents who showed typ­i­cal or high growth. State scores for the same test were 38 per­cent and 65 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

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