Table of Contents

District Diagnostic

Interpreting Common Patterns

Rather than focusing on changes for one student group, it's important to reflect on the overall patterns of growth across multiple student groups. Analyzing positive and negative patterns of growth across student groups can help you understand how to meet students' needs. The following examples illustrate patterns that are common in diagnostic reports.

Pattern 1: Downhill Pattern

The downhill pattern occurs when the instructional program benefits lower-achieving students more than their higher-achieving peers. This pattern might occur in a district where accountability is a primary concern. That concern can lead teachers and administrators to focus more heavily on meeting the needs of low-achieving students who are not yet proficient.

As a result, high-achieving students do not meet theexpected growth and lose ground academically. If the program continues to produce these results, there might be fewer high-achieving students in later grades.

Pattern 2: Uphill Pattern

The uphill pattern occurs when the instructional program benefits higher-achieving students more than their lower-achieving peers. This pattern might occur if a district shifts the program toward a stronger emphasis on academic rigor without effectively differentiating the instruction for lower-achieving students. This pattern often results in a widening of the achievement gap.

Pattern 3: Tent Pattern

The tent pattern occurs when the instructional program most benefits students in the middle of the achievement range, without appropriately addressing the needs of students on the higher and lower ends of the range. Teachers and administrators should consider how to broaden the curricular focus, offer effective supports and interventions for low-achieving students, and provide opportunities for high achievers.

Pattern 4: V Pattern

In the V pattern, only the lowest-achieving and highest-achieving students exceeded expected growth, but students in the middle groups have not had sufficient opportunities to make progress. This pattern might occur when instruction focuses on providing the lowest-achieving students with support services, while challenging the highest-achieving students with advanced courses or programs.

Pattern 5: Opportunity Gap Pattern

The opportunity gap pattern occurs when students at all achievement levels make noticeable growth except for students in the second achievement group. This pattern might occur when classroom instruction is aimed at students who are at least average in achievement, while the lowest-achieving students benefit from additional services and interventions. Students in the second achievement group might lose ground if they are not provided with additional services or if their academic needs are not addressed through differentiated instruction in the classroom.

Pattern 6: Desirable Pattern

The desirable pattern occurs when students at all achievement levels meet or exceed expected growth. Over time, you may find that this pattern shows students have the potential to close the achievement gap without inhibiting the growth of high-achieving students.