Data sgp is a set of tools to help educators and other stakeholders understand student growth percentiles. A student’s growth percentile is a number that indicates how much her or his progress on the MCAS has been above or below the average for students with similar MCAS performance histories (Betebenner, 2009). It is an objective measure of relative student growth and can be used to evaluate educator effectiveness.
DESE calculates SGPs in ELA and math for students in grades 4 through 8 and in grade 10. SGPs compare a student’s most recent test score to the scores of other students with similar prior achievement levels. Ranking students against other students with comparable prior achievement is perceived to be fairer and more relevant to the evaluation of student learning than examining unadjusted test score gains.
SGPs can be calculated for students in any school district whose records include at least two assessments that are administered during different assessment windows and have at least one of the same subject content area. Generally, these tests should be administered in the same year but may not be associated with the same testing window or date. Using multiple assessments over time allows for more reliable SGP calculations.
Currently, the SGP package supports the use of both WIDE and LONG formatted data. The lower level functions, studentGrowthPercentiles and studentGrowthProjections, support only the WIDE data format, while the higher level wrapper functions require the LONG data format. Generally, it is best to use LONG formatted data for operational analyses as the data sets are much easier to manage and update year after year than WIDE formatted data sets.
In addition to the aggregate SGP measures reported by DESE, the SGP package includes several other useful functions for analyzing student growth and development. Two of these, summarizeSGP and studentGrowthProjections, allow users to create detailed plots of student growth and development. These plots can be sorted by many different variables, including the type of measure and the group to which the student belongs.
The summarySGP function can also produce reports that provide the percentage of the student body whose growth falls within a certain range. This report can be useful for identifying groups of students with common needs and interests, such as those needing more assistance or attention in a particular subject.
SGP analysis can be conducted at the student, class, school, district, and state levels. Each of these levels requires some additional data, which may be available only in the aggregate reports provided by DESE or through other data sources, such as individual student transcripts. These reports can be analyzed in detail to identify the needs of each student and to determine whether any interventions are needed. Using these results, districts can identify the most promising students and develop programs to meet their needs. This is an important first step in achieving the goal of equitable access to quality education for all students. It is also critical to ensure that the results of the SGP analyses are made available to all stakeholders.