Table of Contents
School Value-Added

Understanding the Data

Overview of "Growth" and "Achievement"

This report enables you to assess trends in growth and achievement in the schools that you have access to.

Growth is the difference between students' entering and exiting achievement. You have two options for how to display growth data, and you can view both at once, if you prefer.

  • The growth indicator is the color-coded bar that plots the growth index in the context of expected growth.
  • The columns of growth data include key metrics related to students' growth, such as the growth measure, its standard error, and the growth index.

Achievement is student performance at a single point in time. Achievement metrics, which are described by columns of achievement data, are helpful when interpreting growth metrics and understanding student learning in context.

For more information about growth and achievement, see Concept of Growth.

Growth Indicator

Each growth index is plotted on a color-coded growth indicator bar to indicate the amount of statistical evidence we have that the school meets, exceeds, or falls short of expected growth.

Expected Growth

Expected growth indicates the amount of growth the group of students must make to maintain their entering achievement. For more information, see Understanding Expected Growth.

Figure: Sample report. The colors might be different in your reports.

Definitions of Column Headings

Growth columns

Growth Columns

Use growth data to:

  • Make fair comparisons across subjects, grades, courses, and years
  • Find areas of strength and areas that need improvement

The table below gives general information about the growth columns and links to more in-depth information.

Column NameGlossary DefinitionWhere to Find More Information
Growth IndexAn indicator of the certainty that the group of students met, exceeded, or fell short of expected growth.Understanding the Growth Index
Growth MeasureA conservative estimate of the growth that students made, on average, in a grade and subject or course.Growth Measures and Standard Errors
Standard ErrorA measurement that establishes a confidence band around the growth measure and describes the certainty that the group of students met, exceeded, or fell short of expected growth.Growth Measures and Standard Errors
Growth Measure DistributionA value that represents where the growth measure for the group of students falls in the distribution for this assessment.Understanding the Growth Measure Distribution
Student CountThe number of students included in the analysis.Understanding the Student Count
Achievement columns

Achievement Columns

Use achievement data to:

  • Observe shifts in entering achievement for different groups of students over the years
  • Identify patterns of effectiveness with students at differing levels of entering achievement
  • Support vertical conversations with feeder schools or teachers of prerequisite courses

The table below gives general information about the achievement columns and links to more in-depth information.

Column NameGlossary DefinitionWhere to Find More Information
Entering Achievement and Exiting Achievement

Depending on the assessment, achievement is reported in Normal Curve Equivalents (NCEs) or scale scores.

  • Entering achievement is either the average of the students' prior year NCEs or the average of the students' expected scale scores.
  • Exiting achievement is either the average of the students' current year NCEs or the average of the students' actual scale scores.
Understanding Entering Achievement and Exiting Achievement
Student CountThe number of students included in the analysis.Understanding the Student Count

How the Colors Are Assigned

The model generates growth measures and standard errors. You can see rounded versions of these numbers by selecting Growth under Data to Display. We calculate each growth index by dividing the unrounded growth measure by the unrounded standard error. We assign colors to growth indexes based on how far the indexes are from expected growth. The legend describes the three growth indicators.

ColorGrowth Index Compared to Expected GrowthInterpretation
Exceeds Expected Growth

At least 2 standard errors above

Significant evidence that the school's students made more growth than expected.

Meets Expected Growth

Between 1 and 2 standard errors above

Moderate but not significant evidence that the school's students made more growth than expected.

Meets Expected Growth

Between 1 standard error above and 1 standard error below

Evidence that the school's students made growth as expected.

Meets Expected Growth

Between 1 and 2 standard errors below

Moderate but not significant evidence that the school's students made less growth than expected.

Does Not Meet Expected Growth

More than 2 standard errors below

Significant evidence that the school's students made less growth than expected.

When a growth index falls exactly on the boundary between two colors, the higher growth indicator is assigned.