# Measuring growth in student performance on MCAS

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```					 Measuring growth in student
performance on MCAS:

The growth model
Paul Schlichtman
Lowell Public Schools
pschlichtman@lowell.k12.ma.us

1
What is growth?
• MCAS shows how each student is achieving
relative to state standards
– Is John proficient in 6th grade mathematics?
– Cannot compare John’s scaled scores from year to year

• Growth measures change in an individual
student’s performance over time
– How much did John improve in mathematics from 5th grade to
• Did John improve more or less than his academic peers?

2
Why measure growth?
• A way to measure progress for students at all
performance levels
– A student can perform at a low level but still improve relative to his
– Another could perform well but not improve much from year to year

• Provides evidence of improvement even among
those with low performance

• Gives high performing students and schools
something to strive for beyond proficiency

3
Uses of growth data
• Reconceptualizing performance
Performance = achievement + growth

• Identifying strengths and weaknesses in student
• Targeting assistance
• Conducting program evaluations
• Eventually, making accountability decisions

4
Student growth percentiles

• Each student’s rate of change is compared to
other students with a similar test score history
• The rate of change is expressed as a percentile.
– How much did John improve in mathematics from 5th grade to
– If John improved more than 65 percent of his academic peers,
then his student growth percentile would be 65.

5
Growth to grade 7: Three students

280
Gina
MCAS ELA scaled score

260                                                                      SGP
80 to 99
65%
Proficient
240                                                                      60 to 79
40 to 59
 230   20 to 39
230                        230
220   Needs Improvement
35%   1 to 19

SGPs between 40 to 59 are typical
Warning/Failing
200

2007                       2008              2009

6
Growth to grade 7: Three students
280
Harry
MCAS ELA scaled score

260

Proficient    248      248        244
240
25%

220   Needs Improvement

Warning/Failing
200

2007      2008     2009

7
Growth to grade 7: Three students
280
Ivy
MCAS ELA scaled score

260

Proficient
240
8%
 226
220   Needs Improvement

92%
214      214
Warning/Failing
200

2007      2008     2009

8
Growth to grade 7: Three students
280
Gina, Harry, and Ivy
MCAS ELA scaled score

260

Harry
Proficient    248              248
240
Gina
230              230
220   Needs Improvement
Ivy
214              214
Warning/Failing
200

2007             2008           2009

9
Growth to grade 7: Three students
English language arts

2007       2008          2009     2009
Gina     230          230            230    35

Harry    248          248            244    25

Ivy      214          214            226    92

10
Interpreting student growth percentiles
Harry’s SGP was 25. This means his growth score
in grade 7 was higher than 25 percent of his
academic peers (and less than 75 percent).
3
5           Lower growth                        Typical growth              Higher growth
G
i
n              20%                  20%               20%          20%           20%
a
0%                20%                   40%           60%           80%             100%
(
2
3
0                              25         35                                       92
)                          Harry      Gina                                          Ivy
(244)      (230)                                        (226)

very low              low              moderate       high         very high

Percent of students

11
3                     Grade 3 (2008) ELA Raw Score = 23 (lowest NI score)
5
G
20%             20%                   20%         20%             20%
i
n
0%                  20%                 40%           60%            80%          100%
a
(
2
SGP                  16              34             49                    81
(2009 Scaled Score)         (216)           (220)          (222                  (232
3
)                     )
0
)
very low           low                 moderate       high           very high

3
5                Grade 3 (2008) ELA Raw Score = 36 (lowest Proficient score)
G
i                     20%             20%                   20%         20%             20%
n
a           0%                  20%                 40%           60%            80%          100%

(
2     SGP                  16          34                49                    81
(2009 Scaled Score)
3                          (230)       (236)             (240)                 (248)
0
)

Lowell Public Schools                                                                                    12
Key concepts
• Growth is distinct from achievement
– A student can perform at a low level but grow quickly, and vice versa

• Each student is compared only to their academic peers,
not to all students statewide
– Others with a similar test score history
– All students can potentially grow at the 1st or 99th percentile

• Growth is subject-, grade-, and year-specific
– Therefore, the same change in scaled scores can yield different
student growth percentiles

• The percentile is calculated on the change in
achievement, not the absolute level
– Differs from more familiar norm-referenced measures

13
Growth for groups
• How to report growth for groups of students?
– Districts, schools, grades, subgroups, classrooms

• Median student growth percentile
– The point at which half of the students in the group have a
higher growth percentile and half lower

• Growth distribution charts
– The percentage of students in the group growing less than,
similar to, or more than their academic peers

14
Lowell Public Schools • English Language Arts • 2009 Growth Distribution
21%                  21%                     20%                20%              18%
Two ways to summarize group data – student growth
0%                 20%                 40%                60%                80%                100%
very low               low           moderate            high             very high

2009 Median Student Growth Percentile • English Language Arts

49
0       10         20       30          40          50     60          70     80          90      100

Lowell Public Schools • Mathematics • 2009 Growth Distribution
18%                18%                 20%                20%                   24%
0%                 20%                 40%                60%                80%                100%
very low            low          moderate            high              very high

2009 Median Student Growth Percentile • Mathematics

55
0      10          20      30          40          50     60          70     80          90     100

Lowell Public Schools                                                                                     15
Using median student growth percentiles:
growth by achievement for schools
Higher achieving                  Higher achieving
Lower growing                     Higher growing

Lower achieving                   Lower achieving
Lower growing                    Higher growing

16
Lowell Public Schools
District English Language Arts • 2009 Growth
SOURCE: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

STATE          20%                      20%                        20%                        20%                          20%

DISTRICT          21%                       21%                         20%                        20%                         18%

Grade 8        15%                 18%                     20%                        21%                               26%

Grade 6        15%                 18%                        22%                         21%                             23%

Grade 5              24%                        20%                        19%                      19%                       18%

Grade 10          22%                            25%                           20%                       18%                     15%

Grade 7              22%                        23%                          20%                        20%                      14%

Grade 4                29%                            21%                          21%                       16%                 13%

0%                 20%                        40%                        60%                        80%                          100%

very low                   low                moderate                       high                  very high
Research Testing and Assessment - Lowell Public Schools

Lowell Public Schools                                                                                                                                       17
Lowell Public Schools
District Mathematics • 2009 Growth
SOURCE: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

STATE              20%                20%                          20%                       20%                          20%

DISTRICT          18%                 18%                       20%                       20%                             24%

Grade 6        13%          14%                   18%                       21%                                  34%

Grade 10          18%                  20%                       18%                      19%                            24%

Grade 8         17%                 19%                        20%                        20%                            23%

Grade 7         15%               18%                         22%                         22%                             22%

Grade 4              22%                    19%                       20%                       18%                        21%

Grade 5               23%                   18%                       20%                       18%                        21%

0%                20%                         40%                       60%                        80%                          100%

very low              low                 moderate                     high                   very high
Research Testing and Assessment - Lowell Public Schools

Lowell Public Schools                                                                                                                                      18
Lowell Public Schools
Grade 6 Mathematics • 2009 Growth
SOURCE: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

STATE                     20%                            20%                             20%                       20%                            20%

DISTRICT               12%                  14%                        18%                        21%                                         34%

Pyne     2% 4%              13%                        21%                                                        60%

Wang      3%        7%                  16%                          21%                                                 53%

Daley          8%           7%                   20%                             19%                                           47%

Stoklosa         8%                9%             11%                          27%                                                44%

Sullivan         7%               12%                     21%                              22%                                         39%

Butler                16%                              24%                             16%                        26%                               18%

Rogers                       24%                               18%                            21%                         20%                        17%

Robinson                       22%                                 26%                                  21%                       15%                    15%

Bartlett                            30%                                              32%                           14%                        16%             8%

0%                               20%                              40%                        60%                            80%                         100%

very low                      low                 moderate                   high                    very high
Research Testing and Assessment - Lowell Public Schools

Lowell Public Schools                                                                                                                                                        19
Lowell Public Schools
Grade 6 Mathematics • 2009 Growth
SOURCE: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Other LPS - ALL              12%             15%                   19%                      20%                                34%

Stoklosa - ALL          8%           9%           11%                    25%                                          46%

Other LPS - Reg. Ed          9%               14%                  21%                       21%                                  35%

Stoklosa - Reg. Ed.        5%          13%            8%                 26%                                             47%

Other LPS - ELL          9%                15%                18%                     21%                                    38%

Stoklosa - ELL          12%            6%         12%                20%                                          51%

0%                            20%                     40%                      60%                       80%                       100%

very low                        low               moderate                       high                 very high
Research Testing and Assessment - Lowell Public Schools

Lowell Public Schools                                                                                                                                              20
Stoklosa: 2009 Grade 6 Mathematics MCAS & SGP
280

270

260
2009 Mathematics Scaled Score

250

240

230

220

210
44% of Stoklosa students
are are at or above 80%ile
200
0       20          40                    60               80            100
Student Growth Percentile

Lowell Public Schools                                                                                                    21
Lowell Public Schools
Stoklosa Middle School • 2009 Mathematics Growth
SOURCE: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Grade 5 - Regular    3%              19%                                32%                                                46%

Grade 6 - Regular        5%          13%           8%                    26%                                              47%

Grade 7 - Regular              16%                         24%                                30%                              19%                   10%

Grade 8 - Regular              15%            8%                  22%                       18%                                   37%

Grade 5 - ELL         6% 3%         12%                    21%                                                 59%

Grade 6 - ELL              12%       6%           12%                 20%                                            51%

Grade 7 - ELL              13%                       26%                             24%                           21%                        16%

Grade 8 - ELL         6%             18%                      16%                        27%                                       33%

0%                         20%                        40%                       60%                         80%                         100%

very low                    low                moderate                     high                 very high
Research Testing and Assessment - Lowell Public Schools

Lowell Public Schools                                                                                                                                               22
2009 Median Student Growth Percentile • English Language Arts
Nine Largest Urban Districts

Worcester

Brockton

Lowell

Lawrence

Boston

Fall River

Lynn
Springfield

New Bedford
10                    20           30                40                50   60     70

Lowell Public Schools                                                              23
2009 Median Student Growth Percentile • English Language Arts
Contiguous Communities

Chelmsford

Billerica

Lowell

Tyngsborough

Tewksbury

Dracut

Lowell Commmunity Charter
10                     20           30             40             50        60      70

Lowell Public Schools                                                               24
2009 Median Student Growth Percentile • Mathematics
Nine Largest Urban Districts

Lowell

Worcester

Boston

Fall River

Lawrence

Brockton

New Bedford
Lynn

Springfield
10                20          30                40                50   60   70

Lowell Public Schools                                                       25
2009 Median Student Growth Percentile • Mathematics
Contiguous Communities

Lowell

Billerica

Tyngsborough

Chelmsford

Tewksbury

Dracut

Lowell Community Charter

0                        10          20             30             40      50   60

Lowell Public Schools                                                           26
http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/growth/

Paul Schlichtman
Lowell Public Schools
pschlichtman@lowell.k12.ma.us

27

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