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Achievement Indicator - Growth, Grades 3-5 combined

Introduction

This achievement indicator, Growth in Grades 3-5 combined, examines if a student has met student-unique, expected growth targets over the course of a school year.  For the purposes of this indicator, we measure how many of our students meet their individualized, annual growth targets on both the ELA and the Math assessment modules of the MAP test (students in Grades 3-5 are combined for the purposes of this indicator).  The MAP assessment automatically calculates a growth target for each student, every year, based on their personal outcomes the year before, and is calculated using the vast resources available to MAP in terms of what is a reasonable expected amount of growth in a school year, given how much growth all the students in the MAP database who start the year at that level typically achieve over the course of a year (i.e., students who are still emerging learners can be expected to “grow” more than, for example, students are have already demonstrated mastery of the material at hand).

A focus on growth is much different from looking at whether a student scores at or above a common, one-size-fits-all “proficiency” threshold on a standardized assessment.  And in many ways, it is much more useful.  Teachers and learners over the course of a year deserve credit if students demonstrate reasonable progress over the course of a school year, and using individualized growth targets does not penalize anybody for starting at a very low level.  Rather, it seeks to give credit for progress, regardless of starting level, and seeks to ensure annual improvement so that, eventually, the “proficient or higher” standard can be met in the other, standardized indicators by all students.  We use the MAP assessment because it is an efficient, reliable and convenient way to measure growth, and we focus on Grades 3-5 because they are critical in terms of preparing students for the secondary level, and the differentiated levels of course complexity and challenge in those older grades.  Also, reliable measures of “growth” that are uniform and taken by large numbers of students are very hard to come by as students move into the secondary years.

As the below historical data show, we have had gaps every year in both ELA and Math, but the gaps are appreciably smaller in this “growth” measure as compared to the other achievement indicators that are more “threshold-level-of-achievement” oriented.  This provides for a kernel of optimism, as if our theory holds true, a persistent focus on having each of our students grow every year, regardless of starting point, will eventually lead to closing the gaps in the other indicators.  To be sure, we have work to do in terms of ensuring all our students hit their growth targets, but the results here are better.

Current Update: November 2023

Action Plan

This action plan is currently under construction. 


 

Achievement Indicator - Growth Targets Met, Grades 3-5 combined

Click on the drop-down arrows to learn more about the English-Language Arts and Mathematics MAP Growth Targets achievement indicators for Grades 3-5.