State releases new growth model for students

by Celia Shortt

State releases new growth model for students By Celia Shortt celia@newnan.com

The Georgia Department of Education released the Georgia Student Growth Model earlier this week to help educators, parents, and other stakeholders better understand and analyze students’ progress from year to year.

According to Coweta County School System Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker, this new tool has been available to Coweta as a pilot system for a little more than a year and the school system has been working with it for “12 to 18 months.”

The new model measures Student Growth Percentiles and gives all students – both low and high achieving – the opportunity to demonstrate all levels of growth.

SGPs describe how much academic progress students have made, compared to other students in Georgia with similar achievement history. For example, a student who earns an SGP of 75 means he or she grew more than 75 percent of his or her academic peers.

The three levels of growth are low, typical and high.

Also released with the growth model was a web tool, which allows members of the public, including parents, “to view visualized student-growth data.” The public can view data for the 2013 school year of the individual district and school levels. Parents can receive individual student-growth reports, and teachers can also view individual reports for each of their students.

This data and online tool is available at gastudentgrowth.gadoe.org.

Data from the 2014 school year will available in the late fall.

With this year being the first for the Georgia Student Growth Model and SGPs, GaDOE does have plans for it to grow.

Dr. Barker said it will eventually become a part of the student assessment test.

This next year, students will be taking the Georgia Milestones test, which will streamline the existing Criterion Reference Competency Test for elementary and middle school students and the End of Course Tests for high schoolers. It will also be aligned with the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards.

“This is an important year for us in regards to assessment,” Dr. Barker said earlier this year about the Georgia Milestones test.

He also the new test will include more open-ended questions.

“Some of those changes are taking place next year,” he added. “There’s going to be a different report, a different scoring mechanism.”

The state of Georgia awarded a $107.8 million, five-year contract to CTB/McGraw-Hill on May 28 to develop the new testing system.



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