Data SGP – A Powerful Performance Metric For Educators

Data SGP leverages longitudinal student assessment data to produce statistical growth plots (SGPs) that measure students relative progress compared with their academic peers. Using this information, educators can better understand whether their students are growing more than, less than or about as much as expected and thus are making good progress toward their achievement goals. In contrast, evaluating student progress using traditional measures such as standardized test scores requires complex calculations and large estimation errors.

SGPs provide an effective performance metric for educators to communicate to their families, school communities and local stakeholders that they are making good progress toward meeting their achievement goals. They can also serve as a powerful tool for communicating to low performing students that they must make more progress, and to high performing students that they have something further to strive for beyond proficiency.

Educators can access their students’ SGP information in a spreadsheet format by selecting an individual student in the summary report and choosing the “SGP Data” tab. The resulting spreadsheet displays the student’s SGP information along with additional demographic and socioeconomic characteristics not available in the summary report. The spreadsheet is easy to read and can be used to inform instructional decisions or evaluate the performance of a school or district.

A student’s SGP score is based on the number of Student Growth Points required to move from a starting point, such as an initial achievement scale or proficiency level, to a final target, such as advanced performance. Typically, students require 10 Student Growth Points of growth to move from one level of student achievement to another. However, individualized differences among students mean that this figure could be more or less than needed.

While it is possible to create SGPs from a single snapshot of student achievement, a more useful approach is to analyze the SGPs for multiple years and content areas. This enables educators to determine the extent to which a particular course of instruction is helping students meet their learning targets. Additionally, SGP analyses can help educators identify and target instruction for the most effective grouping of students by academic need.

To conduct operational SGP analyses, the SGP package provides a set of high-level functions that work with longitudinal, vertically scaled student assessment data in WIDE or LONG formats. The exemplar WIDE data set, sgpData, and corresponding long data sets, sgpData_LONG, are installed with the SGP package and provide a model for how to structure time dependent data for use with the lower-level functions studentGrowthPercentiles and studentGrowthProjections. Please consult the SGP data analysis vignette for more comprehensive documentation on how to use these functions with your own state data.